There are a couple of reasons for this:
- a disconnect: they do not see the connection between personal surfing skills and school research skills.
- motivation: the internet changes constantly, 24/7. No one can keep up without spending serious time.
- conflicting goals: students strive to be efficient, while teachers want students to be thorough.
- direct hit: Identify content farms with them--ask.com is a good example--and set up a wiki webquest which will require that they track the source of every piece of information they discover. A colleague of mine once commented that she was frustrated with the attitude that kids thought "looking something up was the same as researching it." This project may reveal the difference.
- Project design: Increase the number of primary sources I require on research projects. I started this last year, and though there was much whining, the end results were clearly superior--we could all see the truth of it.
- Supplementary reinforcement: Suggest a concrete approach to this problem in our freshman library orientation projects (jointly planned by the library and English departments).
And a link from earlier post re: the filter bubble: