Stupid Is as Stupid Does

There’s been a lot of noise lately about whether the information is making us, people in general and students in particular, stupid. Helpfully, the Chronicle of Higher Ed collected links to many recent articles and followed it with another article suggesting the solution is to support teachers, not vilify the digital age. (Links from Arts & Letters Daily)

As with many (most?) internet kerfuffles, I think the problem is blown out of proportion by the bloviation, and the answer’s pretty simple. Is Google/internet/lack of liberal arts/overemphasis on liberal arts/etc. making us stupid?

Only if we let it.

Google, blogs and feeds are part of my reading, writing and research life. Since graduate school, I’ve become an autodidact, learning on my own about subjects that interest and are relevant to me. The internet and its increased presence has been, and continues to be, an important part of this learning process. Even more important, though, is and always has been, reading full texts. Reading things about the texts. Thinking about them. And then finding out what others think about them. For the latter, the internet is an invaluable resource, as a supplement to, not a substitute for, real-time, in-person interaction.a v

As in many aspects of life, variety contributes to a balanced experience. The internet and Google are tools, not the toolbox.

To borrow a phrase from Mental Multivitamin: Read. Think. Learn.

I’d add, “in all the ways we can.”

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