Lawyers and fans of legal drama will recognise the phrase “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”. But relevance is also required. In a different context, students often mistakenly believe that quantity of truth will compensate for any deficiencies in quality and relevance.
The curricula of the various Australian jurisdictions, and the National Curriculum, encourage students to conduct research on the Internet. There is a wealth of good information on the Internet; there is also a lot of poor information. Students should learn to interrogate sources to discover if the author has expert knowledge in that area, and if the publisher or website has any quality assurance protocols.
Correctness and quantity of information does not compensate for deficiencies in quality and relevance. Useful scientific information has appropriate precision, accuracy and conciseness.
The Internet gives access to databases, to vast amounts of information, to primary and second-hand data, and to summaries and analyses of information. Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling often said that the use of computers is not a substitute for thinking, and the same is true of the Internet. Teachers will always be needed to guide students on the appropriate use of learning tools on the journey of discovery that we call education.
Field of Research
130306 Educational Technology and Computing 130309 Learning Sciences 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
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