Internet Research: More Than Click and Print
Carol Totilo, Terry Zaccone, William H. Miller and Fergus Young, The Christian Science Monitor
Your article "But I found it on the Internet!" (April 25) was most interesting. I appreciate that you recognized the difficulties we classroom teachers have with the new technology movement.
I have been using the Internet myself for approximately 11 years (pre-AOL). I am continually in discussions with the technology committee at our school, asking them to explain what they believe our students need. It appears they believe that to "have the technology" means our students will cease to be deprived, but they cannot tell me how this will enhance learning.
Some of my students (and their parents) believe that research using the Internet means hitting the "print" key! I try valiantly to remind my colleagues of copyright and trademark questions. So much of your article touched on issues important to me, and your sidebar on Web site evaluation will be quite helpful.
Carol Totilo Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.
Your article "But I found it on the Internet!" was right on the mark. Now we need to extend this discussion to the 100 million or so adults who use the Internet as a source of facts. No matter what point of view a person has, something can be found on the Internet that substantiates it. We definitely need to teach everyone something about critical reading and source-bias determination.
Perhaps a small group of bright people could create and maintain a Web site where children and adults alike could go to find an index of subjects and reliable sources of information on them. Instead of leading researchers to every site that addresses a given subject, only sources that had been fully evaluated for reliability would be linked to the subject index.
Terry Zaccone Sunnyvale, Calif.
Benefits of nuclear power
In his April 17 opinion piece, "Subsidizing environmental damage," Norman Myers identifies the indirect support various technologies receive and highlights the difficulty of measuring the true costs of energy sources. The environmental damage from coal burning, for example, is never figured into the price of electricity, except for the expense of only partially successful emissions scrubbers. …