To learn…or to google…that is the question.

Feature image source.

Hello ECI 831’ers and beyond,

Here we are, week 2 and you’re in for The Hackel Hub second pre-debate post!  I want to share my feelings on this week’s topic, “Schools should not focus on teaching things that can be googled”.  Again, just a reminder, this post is happening BEFORE our debate on Monday and so these are my feelings before hearing either side sell their point.  There are actually no articles posted yet so this is my own little bit of research into the subject too.  Enjoy.

technology time magazine GIF image source

This is a LOADED question no matter which way you swing it…we literally have a world’s worth of knowledge in the palm of our hands, on our wrists, on a our desks, everywhere.  We have access to infinite information at the touch of a button.  So, the question arises, do we bother to teach kids in this rapidly changing generation anything that they can google?  They can pull out their phones, type in any question and find the answer.  They have the power to be self-centered learners, 24/7.  Sounds pretty amazing, almost euphoric.  However, I will admit, I am on the disagree side of this argument. 

I think schools absolutely SHOULD be focusing on teaching things that can be googled.  

I think schools and teachers play a valuable role in ensuring that kids not only find accurate answers for their questions.

I think schools can help students weed through falsehoods online – and let’s be real, there a LOT of falsehoods online!  

I think schools can offer the personal, text to life connections that might not be possible with just ask and search learning.

oh yeah ok GIF by Mauro Gatti

image source

To expand on my above thoughts – first, I think part of learning is being inquisitive and being self guided however, and maybe I’m bias as I’m a teacher, but I think that the role of teacher is an important one.  There is an incredible amount of information available online as the whole debate implies. This idea rolls into my second point, about helping kids weed through the false news, fake articles, dark web, etc.  It is increasingly easy for kids in this day and age to learn how to search for information but that in no way shape or form means that they know they are finding the correct answers.  I am also not saying that teachers have all the right answers, but I think we can help guide students in the correct directions, with the correct tools in their toolboxes for the job.  Education is shifting and changing and in order to keep children up to date I think it’s important not to shy away from a tool like google to help find answers but teaching kids, like anything online, how to use it safely and effectively is crucial.  If schools don’t teach that, who will?  If we don’t focus on anything that can be googled, in my opinion our kids are being done a serious dis-service.  They will eventually lose their curiosity about the world because everything can be found instantly – there is no point in wondering.  As I have also learned in my two previous classes with Alec, there is so much fake information online that if we truly believe that students should not be taught anything that an be googled, we can’t guarantee that what they are finding when they google is true.  There are dark corners of the web that will end up doing much more than good.  Again, I am not naive to the fact that not all information received from teachers is accurate or good, but it’s integral to incorporate the human connection with the information so that students can start to make educated, connected decisions.

education hug GIF by Teach Stem

image source

Finally, my third point, and maybe call me old school, but I still put value in the human connection and the connections that you can make with the world around you in person.  The feeling you get when working and learning together in the classroom is what you remember when you move on from school.  It’s often not the information, the facts and the points that you remember from school.  We need to encourage change in the world and do that, we can’t expect it from typing and reading and learning in a rote way.  Teachers can use google to help children find answers and then show them how to use the information to go further!  I am confident that this is the role of “teacher” going forward in the technological world.

 

I so look forward to hearing the debate on Monday and seeing if my opinion can be swayed! 🙂

Dani ❤

“Educating the mind, without educating the heart,

is no education at all.”

-Aristotle

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2 thoughts on “To learn…or to google…that is the question.

Add yours

  1. I think you will like the arguments we present on this tomorrow. It really is interesting when you start to dig into this google generation. The idea really is moving away from teaching facts to teaching skills. Human knowledge is changing at rates that really are just to fast for any of us even as teachers to keep up to. We really need to rely on the internet and Google to help in fact-checking and staying at the top of the knowledge food chain. Schools may need to move more towards skill-based outcomes rather than knowledge-based outcomes to ensure that students are learning the skills they will need to be successful in their future. I think this is really a hot topic to debate for sure!

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  2. Thanks for your post, Dani. I appreciate that you stress the pieces around inaccurate content. This is an angle that I thought about less over the last few years up until 2016ish (with the rise of fake news). I remember the problem of the martinlutherking.org site – how it was basically a site that seemed to be telling the history of MLK but was taught from a revisionist (white supremacist) lens. Of course, it’s even worse now with algorithms deciding what we get to see based on what they think we would like to be reading (vs. what is good for us and our society). Big questions here! Thanks for sharing these great points – I look forward to the debate!

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