Ambient Findability

I guess I should not find this surprising. Some things are similar across geographical boundaries, and in spite of cultural differences. Take 'student responses' to assignments given. What I find as an academic in India is similar to what academics find elsewhere.

Shawn, writing in the 'Anecdote' verbalises something similar to what happens in India. He says, 'I have just finished marking a bunch of assignments. Not surprising the topic was narrative techniques in knowledge management. The students are masters level and I have to say I was depressed by what I received. The majority of the students were relying on Google and wikipedia to support their claims and arguments. The only journal articles referred to where the ones I made available in the shared online space.

What's happening here? I was reading Jay Cross' blog and he mentioned Peter Morville’s Ambient Findability: What we find, changes who we become. What a fabulous title. I agree, we definitely become what we find, just like we become what we find to eat. Our information diets are becoming junk food because we are unwilling to put the effort in finding something more satisfying than what you can get from a browser in one or two clicks. Or is it simply a case that most people don't know how to find the journals online or can't get access?

Of course there are at least two sides to this issue (probably many more actually). In the case of our students are we setting the right standards for what we expect? If the the standards are lax, then merely satisficing will remain unsatisfying.'

Now that is so true to India too.

P.S. - Thanks, Sarala, for the link and for telling me about 'Anecdote'.


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