National Writing Project

Digital Information Overload Overwhelms and Distracts Students

Publication: Decoded Science
Date: November 4, 2012

Summary: Author Lesley Lanir interviews Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, and Joel Malley, an AP Teacher from Cheektowaga, New York, and Western New York Writing Project teacher-leader. They discuss the mixed results from the new study "How Teens Do Research in the Digital World," by the Pew Internet Project, the College Board, and the National Writing Project.


Excerpt from Article

Decoded Science: What is wrong with finding information quickly and easily if the information is reliable and respected?

Lee Rainie: Of course there is nothing wrong with that, in these teachers' eyes. What they worry about is that students aren't necessarily equipped to know if the information is coming from "reliable and respected" sources. They worry that their students' default position is to believe what search engines give them in their query responses.

Joel Malley: Nothing. I think the hard work connoted by outdated perceptions of research is vastly overvalued. Some questions can be answered quickly. Some require deep thought and take time and are best served by reading research shared by other folks who thought deeply and took care and consideration in their thinking/storytelling.

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Read "Digital Information Overload Overwhelms and Distracts Students" in Decoded Science .

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