The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article reporting that a recent study of high school and college students indicates that this group may not be as adept at interpreting information found on the Internet with the same degree of proficiency as they are at using the Internet. Old people are often amazed with the ease of which students operate technology. What we may not be noticing is that the tools for understanding the information on the Internet is not always picked up along the way.
Information from the Internet requires all the same critical thinking processes as does any other source of information, but it also brings a few new twists. For example, it is difficult to pretend to be a major publisher in a bookstore, but it's very easy to do online. The ability to assess the authenticity of a source is more difficult online because there aren't the traditional gatekeepers. Of course, once you know that you should check, Google makes it fairly easy to uncover the true identify of a source.