Skip to main content

Lecturer takes aim at Wikipedia and Google

Professor Tara Brabazon (opens in new tab), from the University of Brighton, has launched a staunch attack at the apparent dumbing down of students by resources such as Google and Wikipedia.

The lecturer has railed against what she calls "The University of Google" phenomenon saying that too many students don't use their brains enough, preferring to rely on Google and Wikipedia to do the hard work and spoon feed them with information.

As a result, she banned students from using Wikipedia, Google and "other websites like that", asking them instead to rely on a reading list.

She also criticised the teaching body for leaving students to their own devices and pinpointed the declining number of libraries as part of the problem.

Although some of Professor Brabazon's concerns are grounded, she might be a bit over-zealous as cheating, copy and pasting and plagiarism existed well before the internet and Google existed.

As Jemima Kiss from Guardian (opens in new tab) points out, the internet, like the photocopy machine, is only a tool and forbidding her own students from using Google and the likes represents a rather dumb attempt to solve a problem by discarding the Internet altogether.

Incidentally, she will give a lecture on the issues associated with Google (and other online resources) at the the Sallis Benney Theatre in Grand Parade, Brighton, on Wednesday at 6.30pm.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.