by Trung Hieu-Thu Huong
Computers are considered useful tool that help people save time in work and study, cancelling out the necessity of going to libraries or bookstores for information.
However, the modern digital age has made many over dependent on technology.
At present, students more often than not make use of the internet during group working sessions or while writing essays.
The problem occurs when information is ‘copied and pasted' without adequate verification.
Ha Le Phan, a student at Ha Noi University, argued that: "This is the time of technology, of which we need to take full advantage. It is like a lifebuoy to us."
She did admit that digital technology had two sides, as "not all information found on the internet is correct".
"We must keep a level head and have a little prior knowledge when sourcing information, otherwise we'll get lost in the labyrinth," she said.
Besides those who spend time carefully researching material, a fair number of students have little clue as to the information they drag off the net, often combining different pieces into an illogical whole.
Suong Hoa, a sociology student at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, said her teacher once asked the class to write about "Why young people love social networks".
"The next day, most of my 50 classmates handed in essays with similar content, all copied from the internet and void of any personal perspective. As a result, the teacher got angry and asked us to do it again! Despite criticism, however, many hold that copying info from the internet saves time and energy," she said.
A student posting on an online forum recently said: "Thanks to advanced technology, we can write essays quickly and simply; just cut and paste!"
In agreement, someone responded that, "Today, few students spend time in libraries to find material for their essays. Just use the internet and everything will be OK!"
Copying documents from the internet has become a popular habit amongst many students, to the disappointment of their teachers.
Ngo Lan Van, a high-school literature teacher, said, "Apart from literature, students copy material for many other social subjects. I once asked them to write about their families, after which I found that some had copied paragraphs from the same source. I gave them all bad marks in the end!"
Everything has both good and bad sides however.
As long as students use information they locate on the internet properly, technology will indeed remain a useful tool in study.
Whenever Dinh Thi Ngoc Linh, a student at the University of Languages and International Studies, gets a homework assignment, she often searches for reference material via Google
"Once I conducted research on the role of games in teaching children English. Besides my own points of view, I found so many additional ideas on the subject. The more I read, the more I became interested in the topic. After analysing the available info, I used it to write a pretty original piece, for which I earned a high mark," she said.
"I think we are much luckier than students in the past, having advanced technology to assist our studies. To students studying foreign languages like me, the internet equips us with both technological and linguistic capacity while allowing us to remain up to date with our foreign counterparts," she added.
The internet has helped Linh go beyond information provided within lectures and textbooks alone.
Van Tien Hung, a first year student at the University of Business and Technology, often discusses lessons with his classmates via email or chat.
"It saves both time and money. I can even discuss my lessons with students from other universities thanks to the internet," he said.
While the internet provides us with both good and bad aspects, if students overuse the cut-and-paste technique, they will stop absorbing information, which in the long term, will affect their ability to obtain knowledge.
Students should partake in the digital world with a sense of responsibility so as not to create overdependence or harm their path to maturity. — VNS