You know, this reminds me of the old "student using calculator debate".
It's gonna make them morons yelled one camp
It'll increase the time they spend learning new things, yelled the other.
Seems like the old "my religion is better than yours" argument, only this time no religious wars.
No, not at all.
The calculator debate is not an appropriate analogy. In the case of a calculator, it simply makes the time it takes to solve the problem shorter - the fact being that the student still did the problem by themselves
. The students knew how to multiply, divide, add, and subtract without the calculator. The calculator frees the mind to work on more in-depth parts of the problem.
In the case of the internet and forums, it's possible that they will be able to get others to do part of the work for them. In other words, it not only saves time, it replaces the mental work required by one person with ideas and solutions done by another. This is not in any way like your example with a calculator. The same thing happens with writing assignments these days - you know what plagiarism is don't you? Same thing. People get others ideas and substitute them for their own.
Look at it this way - why bust your a** for 8 hours trying to figure out a program when you can just go to a forum and ask somebody else to solve it for you? How many students are going to do the former instead of the latter? Just ask somebody how to turn on a coffee pot over ethernet and save all the problem solving. That's not like your calculator example at all.
What are we going to do in 50 years when a student can just ask an A.I system how to solve the problem from start to finish? Maybe there will be no need for higher education then at all ...
You seem to have a yearning for the past, but the volume of information has changed since them.
Not at all. I just stated I wonder
how many students take the time to work out the answer themselves. I didn't imply the internet wasn't a good resource. I would never want to go back to the 1980's. You know what a TRS-80 is? If you don't Google it. I wouldn't wish that on anybody!
And saying "Ah the good old days" is just a humorous quip.
"We stand on the shoulders of Giants", I thought Neil Armstrong said that, refering to how the Apollo program achieved what it did. I looked up Wiki. Blaise Pascal supposedly made that famous, but it actually goes further back in time.
You don't seem to get the analogy I'm making between the Calculator debate and using someone else's ideas.
Forget specifics, because if you bring specifics in, I can talk about using OpAmps as opposed to discrete component circuits. I can talk about microcontrollers as opposed to sequential digital logic blocks.
Get the idea ?
I fully understand what you mean about where will we be in 50 years time. I grew up learning electronics by collecting parts and building crystal sets, winding my own electromagnets, etc... not a pre-packaged Radio Shack kit. Programming on the SYM-1 (look it up).
Am I a better person for it ? I would like to think so. Then I read the blogs of some of the younger 20'ish engineers who have posted on this forum and elsewhere. I don't think we should worry, the engineering world is in good hands. (if only governments were made up of engineers and we shoot all the cowboy lawyers)