The internet has a myriad of sources of educational information and other things that people can use to learn and improve themselves. This is one of the core reasons that the Obama administration is pushing for more broadband access across the country.
A new survey of 895 web users and experts have found that more than three-quarters of those surveyed believe the internet will make users smarter in the next decade. Those that responded to the survey also believe that by 2020 the internet will improve reading and writing of Americans. The study [PDF] in question was conducted by the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University in North Carolina and the Pen Internet and American Life Project.
Study co-author Janna Anderson said, "Three out of four experts said our use of the internet enhances and augments human intelligence, and two-thirds said use of the Internet has improved reading, writing and the rendering of knowledge."
However, 21% of those who responded to the survey felt that the internet would result in the lowering of IQs in those that use surf heavily. The survey polled opinions from scientists, business leaders, consultants, writers, and tech developers along with internet users screened directly by the study authors. The team who conducted the study polled 895 people of which 371 were considered experts. What qualified the "experts" as experts is unspecified.
The survey also claims that 42% of the experts polled believe that online activity conducted anonymously would be "sharply curtailed" by 2020. The experts believed that tighter security and identification systems would cause the reduction in anonymous users. On the other side, 55% of those polled believe that it would be easy to surf the internet anonymously in the next decade.