This academic year I’ve encountered a problem that wasn’t previously one I’d seen.
On several occasions, students have been in touch to say they can’t access materials, or links in reading lists are broken.
That’s bad, on my part, but a quick type into Google pulls up the correct link and/or material.
Most of me assumes that search engines are a staple of modern life, so I struggle to understand why one wouldn’t just check on one if you couldn’t find what you wanted.
But a bit of me also worries that this is symptomatic of some kind of learned helplessness: by being in the habit of just being given stuff, one loses the ability to find stuff for yourself.
I know we go around the spoon-feeding debate in education pretty regularly, but this seems like an odd case, given that we could expect using search engines to be a much more pervasive thing.
I need to follow this up with students and I’ll come back with any feedback, but I’d also welcome your thoughts too, both on causes and solutions.