Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cheating, Instant Everything, & Absolute Nothing

Our kids live in a world of instant gratification, where any answer they need is two seconds away.

Google's Instant Search (now two years old) makes finding info even easier ... users start typing and Google fills in the blanks, guessing where the searcher is headed. As one types, search results appear automatically ... without hitting enter.

Here's an article further pushing this instant info envelope: Future search engines may actually anticipate your searches for you, based on your user habits. Log onto the web, and your searches will appear before you even make them.

Now add studying to the picture. "Why did I need to study for this," a student wonders, "when all of the answers are available through the phone in my pocket?"

Technology clashes with moral relativism

It's a morally ambiguous time to begin with, and technology races forward as boundaries and social standards are constantly being pushed, redrawn or shattered entirely.

I'm taking a grad class right now in research - which one would think would be very straight forward. Not the case.

There are four basic types of research in the social fields, my textbook explains, and the most scientific of them is called "Postpositivist." The "post" in this research worldview signifies the fact that research now "challenges the traditional notion of absolute truth in knowledge."

Here's the part that got me: Since truth can't be found, a researcher no longer proves a hypothesis. Instead, he can only "indicate a failure to reject a hypothesis."

Got all that, students? You can find the answers to your test in .5 seconds, and there's no such thing as truth (and thus, right or wrong). But, don't you dare cheat!

Good grief, it's gotta be a confusing time to be a kid.

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