National Writing Project

Teachers Concerned About Students' Online Research Skills

Publication: eSchool News
Date: November 5, 2012

Summary: The "How Teens Do Research in the Digital World" study by the Pew Internet Project, the College Board, and the National Writing Project reports teachers' concerns about students' reliance on internet search engines while conducting research.


Excerpt from Article

Teachers are concerned that students are a little too quick to turn to Google and other internet search engines for answers: That's one finding of a Pew Research Center survey of more than 2,000 teachers nationwide queried about students' digital research habits.

"Now, by default, they go online and they search," said Lee Rainie, director of Pew's Internet and American Life Project. "In some respects, that simplifies things."

On the other hand, Rainie said, it means that students are prioritizing that information in a way that might not give them access to all the high-quality and relevant stuff that would be useful.

While 77 percent of the teachers said they believe technology provides an overall benefit—primarily access to more resources—the majority also said online research can be overwhelming, distracting, and make it difficult for students to find credible information.

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