Note: This is an abridged version of the article by Adam Lancaster on the Reading Educator Blog. Read the whole article here.
Knowledge, over the years, seemed to have lost its original meaning or has at least been lost in translation, especially since the dawning of the internet and the world wide web. One cannot just be granted knowledge but that there must be a certain amount of work and graft in a formalized setting. It is this that seems to have be lost since the invention of the internet.
Knowledge is now touted as the thing that is easily and readily accessible at the end of one’s fingertips and via a whole host of devices such as phones, tablets and computers. Knowledge is there for the taking. However we must not get confused with the differences between the idea of knowledge and with information. Information comes at us from all sorts of places and the internet is just one of those. There are endless reams of information that enter our lives on daily, hourly basis but this does not result in knowledge.
The kinds of information that schools are looking for is specific. In the bigger picture of information what schools require is just a drop in the ocean and this is the problem. If there is so much information and a student just requires a minuscule amount of that information how are they able to reach it succinctly and successful? The answer is of course with the aid of a guide ... who is able to arm the student with the relevant skills to enable them but also someone to help filter out a lot of information that just isn't needed.
The curriculum does not need the internet but with some taming and an understanding of where and how it can be used to enhance learning and improve processes, the internet can be a useful tool for all of us. So let’s use the people that can already do this in schools, the school librarian.