What is your opinion about the title question? Any ideas? Why don’t you read on for a few highlights?
Conventional reading of documents in print allows you to focus more and give you enough concentrating power so that you are able to come up with research ideas and eventually a research topic.
You are able to do prospective research through programming and experimenting innovatively. In fact, for this to happen, you need to study programming and various experiments in your field of niche and come up with new approaches.
In the digital age, there is too much information on the web. You assemble some text and copy/paste into a document, which becomes your research. It requires little effort and does not increase your zenith of knowledge and insights.
In fact intelligence developed through research in the digital age is really being lost. There are too many programming languages and software tools. Students may get confused about which of them to use and study in their research. On the other hand, supervisors are too busy to give time to their students, which is why they get discouraged and fall into spirals of depression.
Additionally not all information found on the web can be considered authentic and reliable. On the other hand, good books are always written by expert authors and can always be considered great and prospective.
Therefore, research based on information on the web in the digital age is not enough. That is the main reason why students don’t gain wisdom and knowledge this way.
Additionally although there are many software tools available on the web to augment students’ research, they cannot proceed if they are not clear about their research ideas and topic.
So a line needs to be drawn here. Traditional reading in print should be retained to some extent. Just skimming through text in digital format tires the eyes miserably and students aren’t able to concentrate properly.
Moreover, supervisors need to be in touch with their students and suggest and encourage reading material in print and allow them to ask questions which they should be able to answer rationally and to the point.
Interaction with the supervisor to come up with a research topic for students is important. That way students do not get lost as I have already mentioned that there is too much information on the web. They need to come to a compromise with their supervisor about what languages and tools to use so that they can focus on them, gain intelligence of the required technologies for their research topic and eventually soar high.