Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Academic gag reflex

The other day I was sitting on the train on the way home and reading some research materials I found on Google Scholar for a paper that I am thinking about on social check-ins (you know, foursquare and services like that for an academic environment). I came across a qualifying paper from about a year ago on augmented reality.  It seemed interesting so I though I would give it a quick look - after all, a qualifying paper has been vetted by a tenured or tenure-track professor who has a PhD, so it can't be that off, right?

Well...it turns out that I was wrong.  This was merely a 15 page paper but I could not get past page 2 (double spaced) because of the insane amount of references to the digital native and descriptions of this "generation" of learners as having been born with a keyboard in-hand and a lot of other inaccurate cliches. I guess it was sort of like a gag reflex on my part when I kept reading about the digital native and hoping that it got better (i.e. that these false references would cease)...but they didn't...*sigh*

I put the paper in my "discard" folder on the iPad since I wasn't planning on using it, and moved on to more intellectually stimulating (and perhaps more accurate) articles on augmented reality.  When I got home I wondered if any other academics, and people of learning in general, out there have the same reaction to BS in articles and books.  Does a heavy stream of front-loaded BS impede your ability to forge on and read the rest of the article (or book, or book chapter)? Or do you just shrug these things off and just keep reading in search of a small ounce of accuracy?
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