Last week I read an interesting article in Newsweek about brain freeze. No, this is not about what happens when you chug a large cherry Slushie. The kind of brain freeze we’re talking about here refers to what happens when too much information paralyzes your ability to make good decisions. In her article, Sharon Begley discusses research findings that suggest how information overload “… can lead to objectively poorer choices, and to choices that people quickly regret.”
Begley refers to Joanne Cantor’s book Conquer Cyber Overload (2009) when she states, “Especially online, it is so much easier to look for more and more information than sit back and think about how it fits together.”
When I read that last statement, a little light bulb popped in my head. As a middle school librarian, I see my students do just that. When they go online to research, they are trying to swim the dog paddle in an ocean of information. Some kids will just search and search and search and search some more. They forget what they’re searching. Even worse, some of my students will give up and resort to gazing at Google Images.
This is why we need librarians, especially school librarians.
As school librarians, it’s imperative we teach our students how to navigate the Internet. If our students don’t have the skills to do this, they will drown in information. It’s so easy for our students to just copy and paste anything, rather than analyze and synthesize information and to ”…think about how it fits together.”
What do you think?
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