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Johan Oakes

Senior, Austin High School

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Is the ease of retrieving information minimizing growth in our young population?

Back in the old days, technology didn't exist, apart from your light bulb and radio. Research was solely based on either asking a professional or going to the local library. Is the ease of retrieving information minimizing growth in our young population? Student do not really have to try anymore. Why take out a book and learn when you always have Google in your pocket? Does this hurt our youth?


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  • Dec 19 2011: I've been wondering about this for some times, especially because I expect I will have to be doing much more of this in the future with all the papers I'll be doing.

    What I'm worried about is that certain aspects of communication will be cut off from younger generations. It seems to me that before, if you were concerned about something or confused about where to look for things on a certain topic, you could ask an expert or a librarian about where you could find those things. Nowadays, it's easy to type your question into a search engine and get your answer. This could potentially prevent them from being more open to people and having that kind of learning community. I'm not saying that self-learning is not good; it's just that younger people would perhaps be less likely to seek out help from those who also hold bodies of information, which could potentially hinder them from fostering relationships with others.

    On the other hand, as long as technology is changing, people will at some point need to ask for help about those changes, and talking to a professional about information, I feel, has benefits that sometimes readings cannot completely give. So, in that sense, communication with others in retrieving information won't completely disappear.

    It would be good to emphasize communication in learning for certain!
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      Dec 19 2011: I guess that's another aspect. The whole worrying thing about that is that children are gullible. Thus, without the need to seek guidance, children will be easily persuaded from ignorant responses from numerous webpages stemming from a Google search. Students automatically accept webpage sources as valid (wikipedia) and so do I. So knowledge and communication are explicitly vulnerable.

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