Teachers call online search mixed bag Most teachers believe search engines like Google are beneficial to their students, but they also think those same Internet research tools are creating an "easily distracted generation with short attention spans," according to a new study released Thursday. Educators around the country are worried that digital technologies "do more to distract students than to help them academically," according to the Pew Research Center's report on "How Teens Do Research in the Digital World." Students can take advantage of the availability of educational material in engaging multimedia formats and many become more self-reliant researchers. Fewer sourcesAnd the overwhelming amount of information available on the Internet discourages students from using a wide range of sources "such as online databases, the news sites of respected news organizations, printed books or reference librarians," the study found. [...] the study showed that while many teachers worried that digital research tools give students a false sense that they can complete all of their assignments "quickly and at the last minute" because information is at their fingertips, many teachers surveyed argued that present-day students also show they can engage in their assignments "over long periods of time."