Encyclopedias a thing of the past?

United States
January 13, 2010 10:23am CST
I was tutoring the other day and the material we were supposed to cover was using reference materials. The lesson was on using encyclopedias. This student looked at me and said, "What's an encyclopedia?" I was floored. Then I realized that students dont' even need encyclopedias since we have google! I taught the lesson using key words we would use to look things up on line rather than in an ecyclopedia! Does anyone remember laboring through looking stuff up in an old school encyclopedia?
1 person likes this
7 responses
@AmandaMBF (284)
• Brazil
13 Jan 10
I think no. Encyclopedias are very good!!!!! There are many things you can find in as encyclopedia you'll never find in Internet for example!!!!!!! I think it's very good and can help us so much nowadays!!!!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
You are probably right, but when have you actually seen an encyclopedia? Do they still make them each year?
• Brazil
13 Jan 10
Oh yes, sure!!!!! Here in Brazil we have two encyclopedia collection's that press exemplars every year and three more that press at each three years!!!!!!!
• United States
13 Jan 10
That's awesome! I had no idea! It's good to hear that they are still being made!
@rsa101 (13337)
• Philippines
14 Jan 10
Generations these days really are very dependent on the net when researching for a certain topic for school or on their own. I know how to use it as I grew up in an age where there is no internet yet. But for now, I think with the net in existence there is virtually no need of the encyclopedia when doing a research. Wikipedia is some kind of an online encyclopedia and the information you get there is really wide and the references it has is also available on the net too.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jan 10
I think encyclopedias are good in that it is accurate information. Perhaps they will be digitized an not bound in books, but still a wonderful source of information!
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@rsa101 (13337)
• Philippines
15 Jan 10
Yeah I totally agree with on the accuracy of it but then with the existence of online information. I have no question about the accuracy of it. That is one disadvantage of the information you get from the net. Although you get it fast you still need to verify it.
@adamc151 (479)
14 Jan 10
I realise that encyclopedias aren't really that necessary in these modern times but the fact they didn't even know what one was surprises me. However, with the internet being todays alternative it is much easier to get false information. Even big sites like wikipedia get stuff wrong sometimes :)
• United States
14 Jan 10
They may not be real useful, but I think they are still very necessary to keep track of the big stuff in the history we are making!
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
14 Jan 10
Ohhh yeah, I remember those things! I had to use them a lot and I would always get in trouble for leaving them in stacks instead of putting them back on the shelf! Some years ago, there was a door to door salesman at my door (before I had any knowledge of computers & the internet) and we were going to buy a set, we signed the paperwork and everything and after the guy left, I was reading how much the set would cost altogether! I read the small print and found out I could cancel the agreement within three business days and that's what I done! Those things were expensive! My parents wanted to give me their set and I didn't want it....library cards didn't take up as much space & I could always use the set my parents had as long as they didn't give them to someone else! Glad I don't have to worry about the encyclopedia salesmen these days, they were tough to say no to!!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jan 10
lol!We bought some of those encyclopedias too one time! It was like getting a book or two every month or so until you had the whole set along with yearbooks too! Yeah, I'll take the cd version now!
@myzire72 (1157)
• Singapore
13 Jan 10
Encyclopedias are still very much a thing of the present, and will continue to be for years to come. However, if the encyclopedias you mentioned are those thick, hard cover volumes, then maybe they could really be a thing of the past. Nowadays, almost every household has a computer. Manufacturers see this as an opportunity to produce encyclopedias in a much cheaper way - in CD or DVD formats. Firstly, it is definitely welcomed by environmentalists to go green. Secondly, one can simply carry the entire volume of encyclopedias on CDs and DVDs whenever he goes. No sweat about it. Thirdly, you don't have to specially purchases bookshelves to store those thick volumes, so you save storage space as a result. Last but not least, it is a breeze looking up stuff in these electronic encyclopedias. Just type in the keyword(s) at the search textbox and voila! The info you need appears right in front of your eyes.
• United States
13 Jan 10
True, encyclopedias are still available on disk! I don't think we'll see the old school hard bound copies anymore. I all of a sudden miss them!They were so useful. However, I also rejoice at all the knowledge at our fingertips just seconds away! It's too easy to use the net! Thank God for it!!
@kiran8 (13018)
• Mangalore, India
14 Jan 10
Hi mac, One can never be sure if it is a good thing or bad . I personally feel that books and computers have their own importance and we need to teach the children to use them the way they are meant to be used. I have kept every single knowledge book that I bought for my children over the years ,when they were growing up including different kinds of Atlas, Encyclopedias,general knowledge books,fiction etc; and they love going through them, when they come down for their holidays.I too am constantly going through them and lend them to other children when there is need.I am all for books and Encycyclopedias...
• Philippines
20 Jan 10
Encyclopedia are still very useful in our time now. In our world today,children as young at their age must be equipped with knowledge on how to use the encyclopedia. For me, these bulky books are really helpful in searching for some learning that our brain needs.