As the internet replaces library databases as students' primary research option, a new discussion is emerging in academic circles: Is the vast amount of information at students' fingertips changing the way they gather and process information for the better--or for worse?

In a recent Atlantic Monthly article titled "Is Google Making Us Stupid," author Nicholas Carr asserts that technology has changed the way we think, making our minds a "high-speed data-processing" machine under the influence of internet search engines. But he questions whether this development has led to a focus on surface-level skimming at the expense of deeper reading.

Carr believes his extensive use of...

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