Thursday, December 16, 2010

Debate (Part III): "Google Makes Me Stupid"

An audience member picked up on Dr. Nazeeh's comment "Google Makes me Stupid" by saying that it is searching that helps us develop critical thinking skills. Farah on the panel argued that it does indeed make one stupid, because by googling one precludes one's independent thinking skills.

Dr. Nazeeh continued by clarifying his definition of critical thinking. He argued that people share information from online sources without verifying the information received, becoming passive recipients and sometimes active propagators of information they have no background knowledge about. The info may be completely incorrect and unverifiable, yet critical thinking skills are not employed to filter the info through.

Other audience members commented on the impossibility of being able to spend adequate amounts of time on social networks providing answers to students' questions. Graham Attwell argued that we need to rethink how to organise traditional teaching and learning modes so that some amount of social networking delivery can be overlaid onto them. Conventional methods need to be replaced by active learning methodologies so that students can be assessed on their intelligence and ciritical thinking skills rather than regurgitation, copy/paste or plagiarism capabilities.

The session ended with a lively debate and a comment by one of the audience members, who commented that this was the first time in history that people across the social/economic class ladder would still be able to have access to hundreds of other people, limitless resources, and an open space for sharing ideas and debate.


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