July 18, 2011

The Google Effect?

by Heather Falconer

In an interesting article published online in Friday’s Science, Dr. Betsy Sparrow talks about her study assessing the effects of the Internet on people’s memory. Do we, as modern people, rely on the Internet as a giant, collective memory bank and save our own brain-space for the things that are most important to us (and not readily available online)?

Sparrow’s study provides some convincing evidence that this may be exactly what we are doing. If we know that we are more likely and able to look something up in the future, we are less likely to retain that content in our own brain.

What are your thoughts on how this might effect the future of education? Not just online learning, but the classroom experience, as well?

Heather Falconer

Written by

Heather Falconer holds undergraduate degrees in Graphic Arts and Environmental Science, as well as an MFA in Writing and an MLitt in Literature. She is currently completing her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, with an emphasis on rhetoric in/and/of science. Heather has worked internationally in academic publishing as both an author and editor, and has taught a wide range of topics – from research writing to marine biology – in the public and private educational sectors.