Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Maturing of the Age of Information

I was helping a 6th grader the other day with research methods for a school science project and presentation. Things have certainly changed since the days when I was wallowing in the education system.

Back in the day (boy, that ages me), we went to the library, used the Dewey Decimal System to locate appropriate reference material, read the information, and recorded it all on a pile of index cards. Not so today.

Fortunately, my background in IT and the research skills I've developed as a Freelance Writer have kept me up to date. It's all on the internet. And tracking sources down has nothing to do with pawing through vast card catalogs only to find that the book desperately needed is checked out by someone.

Google and other search engines made life easier by returning applicable articles, but some clever people have taken it one step further. Their search engines return links to actual scanned books, often in pdf format, so it actually looks like the original. For example, this pdf search provides a search engine that works like Google to serve up the goods.

So it's come full circle with digital research. Well, without the trip to the library which saves driving time and using gasoline. Now, can I claim carbon credits for that? I guess I'll have to email Al Gore for that answer...

Many thanks to my sponsor,

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I miss those index cards... sigh.