Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Information Crisis

A colleague recently shared an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education (Source: Section: Information Technology. Volume 53, Issue 27, Page A38).

Information Navigation 101 by Andrea L. Foster explores new programs aimed at teaching undergraduates how to use the Internet and the online card catalog in search of the best sources.

The article expresses the lament from many in academia that "students rely on Google or Wikipedia as sources, as if oblivious to peer-reviewed scholarship."

It reminds me of the often quoted "if you build it they will come" which for the information age may be modified to express what many seem to believe:

If it's published anywhere it is true.

Patricia Senn Breivik and E. Gordon Gee, in their work, Information Literacy: Revolution in the Library (American Council on Education, Macmillan, 1989), effectively express the challenge many are feeling:
"'information explosion' [is] fueling a crisis in the ability of people to solve problems and make decisions."

How do we make advances in technology without negatively impacting critical skills needed in the workplace?

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