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Due to the advanced technology nowadays, the use of computer Is getting more popular In addition to that of the Internet. The age of users Is also becoming younger. Most adolescents tend to stick to their computers everyday without caring the surrounding. Recently, a piece of news mentioned that the post ass are having the symptom of relying too much on web search engines which help users find specific information by typing keywords only . They think that searching by engines can obtain accurate data and save time.

They are said to have ‘search engines dependence’ which means hat they rely on searching every word without thinking nowadays. According to the survey conducted by the China Youth Daily Social Survey Centre, nearly one-tenth of people surveyed thought that they are at the severe level of the symptom. It also pointed out that people cannot think independently when they abusively use the search engines. From the article In a famous online magazine also explained that search engines will have effects on one’s memory and thinking ability.

In the article, Psychologist Betsy Sparrow found that people treat the Internet like their personal memory bank. Teenagers are not willing to memorize information they need simply because they can look it up in the net easily by using a search engine. It lowers their ability of memory. It Is also predicted that widely use In search engines will affect teens thinking ability. They tend to directly copy and paste the data they found after using search engines without any deeper understanding and integration.

They are lack of independent thinking. They will not grasp the ideas and knowledge that already present in their mind. Needless to say, the attitude of young adults will definitely affect the younger enervation. In light of this, the problem of web search engines to teenagers is greatly concerned. Are teens having the same symptom? How severe the problem Is among Hong Kong students? What can be done by different stakeholders to avoid the problem? Objectives: In this project, I intend to do the research study: 1 .

To explore the relationship between the use of web search engines and students’ learning abilities 2. To find out the factors affecting learning abilities of secondary students 3. To give possible suggestion on maximizing the advantages of using web search engines Focus Questions: want Is ten phenomenon AT slung search engines among secondary students nowadays? 2. How the uses of web search engines affect students’ learning abilities? 3. What can different stakeholders do in order to maximize the benefits of using web search engines on secondary school students?

Literature Review 2. 1 The concept of web search engine To begin with, web search engine is a computer tool that enables users to explore databases containing texts in a glut of web pages in the .NET. People can use it by typing key words so that the engine can sieve and rank some related websites out according to its relevance and users can simply click the suitable web links. 2. 2 The phenomenon of using search engine among secondary students The Internet is now an integral part of teenagers’ lives from school to society.

In April 2004, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups conducted A Study on Information Technology in Education: Teaching and Learning. In the study, the surveyed secondary students self-assessed themselves as high level when using the computer and also the web search engines. It somehow reflected that it was common for them to use a web search engines in studying, so they could get over the use of it. This document was proposed in 2004, which is not updated. However, under the rapid growing trend of using the Internet technology, it can be estimated that the situation is being more intense nowadays.

Further study on the current situation will be done in my enquiry project. 2. 3 The concept of learning ability According to the article Cognitive Skills Determine Learning Ability on Doubled, research found that cognitive skills are a determining factor of one’s learning ability. The most important cognitive skills include concentration, perception, memory and logical thinking. Concentration is the ability to focus the attention on one single thought or subject, excluding everything else from the field of awareness. Perception is the interpretation of what information is picked up by people’s sensory receptors.

Memory can be generally divided into long-term memory and short-term memory according to the source. Short-term memory is used to retain ideas and thoughts in a few seconds as people work on problems while long-term memory is the ability to store information and later retrieve it even after years. Last, logical thinking is a learned process in which one uses reasoning consistently to arrive at a conclusion. In this study, I Just focused on memory and logical thinking which are commonly discussed by the general public nowadays. 2. The effect of using web search engine on learning ability According to the study from the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, more than 80 percent of students thought that using the information technology can improve their skills in finding data and self-learning. It can also intrigue their interests in studying. Besides, most people think that web search engines can help them access to their target links in seconds. It is a convenient tool in lives. So as to students, search engines can motivate them Ana Nell teen at anytime Wendell studying. I nee can De more sell -Loretta Ana independent.

Independence is also a crucial ability in studying. However, Dry. David Lowercases, who was the President of America association of School Librarians, shared his point of view in a Journal called Teacher Librarian. “Search engines such as Google are so easy and immediate that many young people, faced with a research assignment, Just ‘Google’ their way through the internet rather than struggle through the hoops of a more traditional library environment. “6 It fleeted that people tend to search rather than think by themselves when they seek a solution.

Without any thinking, secondary students may have a lower ability in thinking if they tend to rely on search engines a lot. In regard to an article Searching for the Google Effect on People’s Memory in a well- known magazine Science published in July 2011, Betsy Sparrow believes that people are using the net as an individual memory bank and they rely on non-memorized information that can be searched in the Internet again and again. It is called the Google Effect. She did a series of experiments to test the future reliance of people on he web search engines rather than memorizing the content on their own.

She carried out a test called Strop task with 106 undergraduates. When they see the colored words that they are thinking about like Yahoo and Google, they will react more slowly. The result showed that they want to search all the times for answers. Therefore, it further showed that secondary students may also have the problem of lack of thinking and memorizing skills with the wide use of search engines. In the above findings, they are mainly focus on the general public all over the world but not only secondary school students in Hong Kong.

It can also provide the opinions of using web search engines in study and help me better analyze the effect of using it so that I can obtain more accurate data. Research Methodology 3. 1 Choice of method 1. Quantitative method – Survey 2. Qualitative method – Interview 3. 1. 1 Quantitative method – Questionnaire Aim The enquiry plan is to find out the effect of search engines on secondary students by using first hand data. It is more direct to collect opinions from a large number of students. The situation of using search engines among secondary students can be deduced.

As it covers a large scope of students’ opinion, a questionnaire will be set to ask about the topic. Larger Group All secondary school students in Hong Kong from F. L to F. 5 were the target group because the project was studying the effect on secondary school students. I picked 100 students among them for sampling. In the survey, F. 6 and F. 7 students in year 2011-2012 were not included since they had graduated in this year. They were on study leave during the enquiry period. Content The questionnaire was set in Chinese for convenience while surveying.

It was strutted on paper instead of on net since it was difficult to identify the age of respondents. It was hard to know if the people surveyed are those I targeted. They were distributed to students coming outside a well-known tutorial centre as it was easier to obtain suitable respondents. The centre that I chose was the Kings Glory Education Centre in Kowloon Bay as it was one of the largest education corporations in Hong Kong and the one in Kowloon Bay was its largest centre. Most students coming out from the centre are secondary school students.

The questionnaires were strutted in the evening during 7th May, 2012 and 13th May, 2012 since the period was close to the schools examination period and more suitable respondents could be found outside the centre. The questions asked mainly focus on the areas below. First of all, there were questions asking the general information about the respondents. Besides, question about the frequency of using the web search engines and questions about the degree of assent to the effect of search engines to their studies were also included. Also, multiple choice questions on the reasons of using or not using search engines were asked.

Moreover, there were questions asking their degrees of agreement towards some statement about the problems of using search engines. Last, there was open ended question about the way of minimizing the side effects on study of using search engine by parents and the government. Limitation The sample size of the survey is not enough to represent the whole picture in Hong Kong. The 100 respondents cannot reflect the general situation. It is not enough to make the data significant and representative. However, the non-official figures collected can still be used as reference due to limited time and resources. 3. 1. 2.

Interview with teachers Three face-to-face interviews were conducted in April to collect different perspectives of opinions. The interview can collect opinions from teachers. The reason why I collected opinions from teachers is because they are in touch with students most of the time. They have a better understanding of students and can give better opinions Ana solutions. Target group I Nell pollens can represent tense Trot ten general puddle. The target interviewees were two experienced teachers and an assistant in Take Ii Secondary School. Data could be more easily obtained since I was studying in Take 01.

The reason why I chose teachers in Take Ii is also because most experienced teachers may have other teaching experience in other schools. Therefore, they could represent the ideas of most teachers among Hong Kong. Interviewee 1 was Ms Monica Chant, who had been teaching for more than ten years. The reason why I chose Ms Chant was that she was the teacher-in-charge of the Parents and Teachers Association of the school. She had a very close contact with parents and so she could also share some opinions from parents besides those from her own. It made the study become more all-rounded.

The following two interviewees studied and were knowledgeable in multi-media technology. They could provide more accurate opinions to the topic. They can share their attitudes towards the situation by giving some in-depth explanation. Interviewee 2 of my study was Mr.. Wilfred Ho, who studied in Computer Science in university. Interviewee 3 was Ms Beverley Lam, who studied about multi- media in university. She was also an experienced researcher in multi-media and could share more opinions towards the topic. The interviews were also conducted in Cantonese for easy communication and better understanding.

They were asked questions for students’ learning habits in using web search engines. They were questioned for various opinions of current situation and some possible solution to avoid overusing it. The questions asked mainly focus on the areas below. To begin with, there were questions asking about the prevalence of using web search engines among teenagers and the reason of using search engines. Besides, the pros and cons of using search engines and the opinions of using search engines for study were also asked. Moreover, the way for students to use the data searched was questioned.

Last, he suggested solution(s) for better using web search engines in learning was asked. Result and Analysis 4. 1 Phenomenon of using web search engines among secondary students 1. Frequency and usage of web search engines Fig. 1 Among the 100 respondents of the question in Fig. 1, more than one-third of them used the web search engines for 4 to 6 times per day. Another one-third of them used it for more than 7 times each day. It can be clearly seen that most secondary school students tend to use the web search engines a lot every day.

Besides, all interviewees also pointed out that the trend of using web search engines among secondary school students would remain popular. Interviewee 1, Ms Monica Chant replied that she thought the trend of using a web search engines among students would remain popular since it was convenient and included a lot of information. When asking about the trend of using web search engines among secondary students, interviewee 2, Mr.. Wilfred Ho answered that he thought the trend would remain widespread since the use of web search engines were common. He thought the convenience of using it would bring an even more popular trend.

For interviewee 3, Ms Beverley Lam, she thought that the trend would stay popular with these five to en years due to its convenience. It was estimated that the engines would remain its position as a common tool in searching or be even more prevalent since it was convenient to use. In Fig. 2, the largest proportion of students used web search engines on academic. It can be estimated that the impact of using web search engines will definitely affect students’ study. Meanwhile, students use the engines so much on academic might be because of the wide range of resources that could be found in the Internet.

They could use it to filter the useless websites for their studies when doing homework. Moreover, among the four interviewees, two of them also thought that students used the engines mainly for study and leisure since it can provide more information at the same time. Both of the data showed that students often used the web search engines for academic use. Moreover, the news article Google changing what we remember 7 showed that people relied on search engines a lot. It stated that the human memory was reorganizing where it went for information, adapting to new computing technologies rather than relying purely on rote memory.

They tended to remember the site of searching the ATA rather than the data itself. However, this phenomenon could not be obtained in the survey since more than half of the respondents stood neutral when being asked whether students nowadays overused the engines or not. 2. Common reason(s) of using web search engines Fig. 3 As what the Fig. 4 shown, receiving all-round information was the main reason for secondary cocoons students to use ten wed search engines. Among ten respondents, more than half of them prefer this as the main reason. It may be due to the requirement of nowadays education. In Fig. , students mainly focus on their study when using those engines. It is no doubt that students nowadays need to find more information to enrich their knowledge and finish their school assignments at the same time. As Hong Kong is a knowledge-based city, students studying here also see knowledge as a crucial element. Therefore, the advantage of having full-scale data of using search engines can greatly attract them. The second largest reason was time-saving which was chosen by 18 out of 83 respondents. As what mentioned before, web search engines have a huge database which allow users to obtain the data they want in seconds.

Since information are uploaded to the Internet more recurrently nowadays, using a search engines can enable people to search what they want. Meanwhile, they need not go to other place like libraries so often to get what they need. It reduces the time that they need to find information. As what Mr.. Wilfred Ho who was a teacher teaching Information and Communication Technology said in the interview, he also thought that using the search engines was quick and it acted like a data bank that provide a lot of different information from varies resources.

Students might be too lazy to find data in many other ways, so they prefer to use the engine to search all the data needed in a shorter time. 3. Common reason(s) of not using web search engines Fig. 4 The survey showed that not every student would use a web search engine so often and frequently. Among those who used the web search engines no more than three times per day, they reflected that the search engines would show plenty of results. However, it might become too much for a user to browse the websites. They might easily get confused in choosing a suitable website when finding data. . 2 The way that the web search engines affect students’ learning ability I. Positive impact(s) on learning ability Fig. 5 More than 60 respondents thought that using web search engines could receive all- rounded information. It was the advantage that chosen by the largest number of students. Receiving so much information can allow them to explore more and obtain more knowledge. Widening their horizons can enable them to have a deeper thinking by using the resources they have. Information gained by using web search engines usually come from different resources and different people.

Essays, researches and other professional data can be found in the net by using the engines. Students can easily obtain data from different stakeholders. They can gain valuable resources that help them think in different perspectives when facing problems in studies and daily eves. Nils enhances tenet addle TTY to thank critically Trot Deterrent angles IT teen use the engines properly. II. Negative impact(s) on learning ability Fig. 6 a. Memory Becoming over-relying on the web search engines was considered as the biggest harm when using it. 5 respondents chose it as one of the disadvantages of using the engines. Relying too much on it will definitely lower students’ learning ability. Users might refer to the engines whenever they need to find information. Most Hong Kong teenagers have a computer accessible to the Internet at home. Therefore, they might not remember the content so much since they could find it again by using the engines in a few seconds. Not trained to memorize things, users might have a weaker memory as they did not use their brains so often. 0 respondents also pointed out this as one of the disadvantages. According to the three interviewees, students might see web search engine as a data bank that they could use it repeatedly to find what they needed. Mr.. Ho said that students would see the engine as a data bank when they rely too much on it. They will not try to remember the information but use the memory of the computer. Therefore, students did not need to remember all the stuff but Jot down the web links or use the engine again. They did not rely on rote memory now but the ‘memory of the computer.

In Abandon, G’s article Searching for the Google effect on people’s memory, it was stated that Betsy Sparrows experiment also supported a growing belief in which people were using the Internet as a personal memory bank: the so-called Google effect. Her research revealed that people tended to forget thing that they were confident of searching it again with the advent of search engines. It means that using search engines too much will cause an impact to teenagers’ memories. B. Logical thinking Besides, students might not be so motivated to think because they could simply search for the answers directly by using the engines.

One-fifth of the respondents thought that the use of web search engines would do harm to one’s ability of thinking. With millions of websites applicable on the net, students can find a lot of useful information. However, it may lower students’ willingness to find answers in books or other resources other than the Internet. They need not think before copying down the answers because they can already find it from expertise on the net. The net does all the elaboration work for them. What they need to do is Just to search. According to interviewee 2 Mr..

Wilfred Ho, he also thought that thinking ability of students will decrease because they can simply search the answer when doing their homework or dealing with their studies. He said that students would tend to search the answer directly rather than searching for some information and thinking. However, the two other interviewees had a different point of view towards this. Ms Monica Chant said that whether students would Judge the reliability of information and think logically or rely on it directly would be personal. The same happened in Ms Beverley Lam’s interview.

She also answered that it would be personal when being sakes AT ten same quest. Although ten two Interviewees thong NT Tanat ten Moe AT thinking of students is very personal that could not be used for comparison, they could not deny that the use of search engines would lower people’s ability of thinking. 4. 3 Suggested ways to maximize the benefits of using web search engines Since the be search engines can cause negative impacts to students’ learning, a number of measure are essential to be taken so that students can enjoy the greatest benefits from the tool. L.

Student According to the news about search dependence in 20108, experts suggested users to be more self-disciplined when using the search engines. Students had better ask themselves if they are doing something necessary or not. They have to set a time limit for searching each time to avoid over-relying on it. II. Parent According to interviewee 3, parents can share their own experience of using other sources rather than the Internet in their era. It is because parents were not allowed to use the computer in the era. They had to find data from a lot of other resources.

They can instill the correct values of using web search engines to their students. Besides, parents have to help develop students’ habit of using different resources while studying. They can bring their children to the library when they are small or discuss current issues together so as to let them know that there are many other kinds of resources. It is not the only solution for them to use the search engines to find data. Moreover, parents have to follow up children’s use of computers so as to have a clearer picture of their attitude when using the search engines and give suitable advice.

Among 100 respondents of the survey, 38 of them gave the answers of this question. Their responses are as follows: What do you think the government and parents can do so as to minimize the negative impacts of using web search engine on students’ learning ability? Number of respondent Suggested methods to lower the negative impacts of using search engines 3 Through education to let students know the pros and cons of using web search engines by schools and parents 3

Through education to teach students to be self-controlled in using search engines by schools and parents 19 Parents can encourage tenet centre to go to ten Diary to KICK Tort Integration needed 7 Parents can encourage their children to think from different perspectives first before searching 4 Parents can encourage children to voice out their opinions first 2 Schools can teach the ways to use search engines appropriately in the lessons Fig. According to the survey, 38 respondents gave answers to the question asking the ways of using web search engines properly so that students can gain the most unifies. 19 of them also agree to encourage children to visit the libraries. Parents should develop children’s habit and also attitude when browsing resources. Ill. School All interviewees pointed out that schools played an important role in educating students in using the web search engines correctly.

Schools can hold talks to teach students and parents how to use search engines so that they can have a nice attitude when using it and minimize the negative impacts on learning ability. Also, schools should include the correct attitude when using web search engines in lessons like IT sessions and liberal studies lessons since these two subjects require students to use IT knowledge in study. In liberal studies, students need to find a lot of information when doing assignments so as to give multi-perspectives opinions.

Students have a lot of chances to use search engines. Therefore, teachers have to tell students the importance of using the web search engines in a right way. IV. Government According to interviewee 1, the government should keep a close contact with the schools so as to grasp the phenomenon of using search engines among students and hint of some measures to encourage students to use more resources. The Education Bureau can put advertisement on television to spread out the importance of correctly using the tool.

Conclusion From the research, it is found that search engine is commonly used in study. However, secondary school students tend to remember where they can find the information rather than the data itself while searching on the net. They use the engines to get all-rounded information. Meanwhile, the search engines can sort out plenty of websites each time, which is also the reason why some of the students do


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