In a recent Times Online article, Tara Brabazon, a professor at the University of Brighton, calls Google “white bread for the mind.” Brabazon “believes that easy access to information has dulled students’ sense of curiosity and is stifling debate. She claims that many undergraduates arrive at university unable to discriminate between anecdotal and unsubstantiated material posted on the internet.” Brabazon also states, “We need to teach our students the interpretative skills first before we teach them the technological skills. Students must be trained to be dynamic and critical thinkers rather than drifting to the first site returned through Google.” Brabazon’s students are banned from using Wikipedia or Google for research in their Freshman year.
Magnus Linklater, a columnist for The Times, provides a counter argument in a Times Online article, accusing Brabazon of snobbery as he states “Curiosity, it seems, can only be stimulated by trawling library shelves or by shelling out substantial amounts of money.”
Who’s argument do you agree with? Please post your comments and let us know what you think.