The teachers who instruct the most advanced American secondary school students render mixed verdicts about students' research habits and the impact of technology on their studies.
Some 77% of advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers surveyed say that the internet and digital search tools have had a "mostly positive" impact on their students' research work. But 87% say these technologies are creating an "easily distracted generation with short attention spans" and 64% say today's digital technologies "do more to distract students than to help them academically."
More "traditional" sources of information, such as textbooks, print books, online databases, and research librarians ranked well below these newly emerging technologies.
The question of who should be mainly responsible for this part [critical research skills] of the curriculum was also open to debate in focus groups, with some teachers openly acknowledging that they do not currently feel qualified to teach some of these skills. Some reported that their school's English department takes the lead in developing research skills, and that their own role is mainly reinforcing these skills. Yet others suggested these skills need to be taught by all teachers across the curriculum, and that library staff can be a key part of that process.