The Internet can be a valuable tool for students to expand their learning opportunities, but it can also be a major distraction and source of misinformation. The sheer amount of information available on the Internet can be overwhelming for students, and they may have difficulty finding specific data without getting caught up in social media or other distractions. It can also be difficult to verify information found on the Internet.
One of the most valuable tools any researcher can develop for using the Internet is the ability to judge a website's credibility. For instance, many students use Wikipedia as a reference resource, and it can be a very good starting point for beginning a search on any given topic. Unfortunately, the fact that anyone can edit the encyclopedia leaves the data there suspect at best, and an editor with an agenda can easily overwhelm an article with biased or even incorrect information. In some cases, vandalized pages can remain damaged for months, especially if the vandal was subtle about the changes made.
The Internet also offers a host of distractions for students. Young people who may already have difficulty concentrating on their schoolwork can easily spend hours playing online games or using social media, especially when these temptations are only a click away on the desktop.