I think this article makes some interesting points about the mental shift required to support digital inquiry versus bibliographic inquiry. I know I have had occasions of disappearing down the digital rabbit-hole that Barbara describes and I am sure many others have too.
I think this links up to topical issues such as fake news. It is relatively straightforward for a librarian to weed through the bibliographic sources to ensure they’re reasonably accurate and reliable. Checking for out of date material is a long-accepted part of the librarian’s role. However, this is not something librarians are able to do for digital sources in the same way and students need to be able do a lot of that weeding for themselves – but that requires teaching them how to do so.
Learning how to assess the biases present in online sources, weigh up their relative merits, and decide how much weight to give to each one is an important skillset and becoming ever more so given social media’s tendency to become an echo chamber for one point of view once you start to disappear down the aforementioned rabbit-hole.
This links into the inquiry process as a whole because if you are using digital sources you need to first find them (and Barbara makes some useful comments about the need for librarians to know some of the nitty gritty of using search terms etc) but then to assess their value.
Both these points strike me of practical value that I can be quietly encouraging amongst students using the computers in my library even when they’re not doing a full-scale inquiry, but are simply trying to look something up for a smaller piece of homework.
Darryl’s point about reading digital sources is also relevant as it can, I believe, at times be easy to skim over writing on screen without really taking the information in. I watched a short video by Alex Quigley of the Education Endowment Foundation on this subject last year. The link to that and the research sources he based it on is: https://www.theconfidentteacher.com/2020/07/reading-on-screen-a-warning/
This reply was modified 6 months ago by Stephanie.