Abstinence-only Web EducationPosted: October 26, 2009
So I came up with this term a couple of minutes ago, and was surprised when I Googled it to find it didn’t exist.
So here it is. And here is what it expresses — my utter shock that when talking to some otherwise intelligent adults about the fact that we are not educating our students to be critical consumers of web content, or to use networks to solve problems, etc — my utter shock that often as not the response to this problem is “Well, if students would just stop getting information from the web and go back to books, this whole problem would go away.”
Shockingly crazy worldview, I hereby name you “Abstinence-only Web Education”.
Adding this: there is always this resentment of people in the Academy toward the term “real world” — as in what we teach them “in here” has to pertain to the real world “out there”. I sympathize with that resentment, and even commiserated about the inappropriateness of the term with a coworker a couple nights ago.
But it’s things like abstinence-only web education that make that term relevant and, yes, often a legitimate critique. It’s not everybody, true, but the belief of even a percentage in higher education that what we really need to do is get back to printed books to solve the information filter problem is evidence enough that we are insulated from the world outside the campus, and to a stunning degree.