Should we teach what can be googled? A battle I did not win!

This week in EDTC400 my friend Aurora and I battled it out with the topic if we should teach something that can be googled? I decided to take the agree side, understanding that it would be a challenge since I was giving my argument to a zoom room full of future educators! However, I was able to gain a little bit of ground after I gave my argument so I think that is a success in itself! To begin, I was in for a good fight with me being the only one who voted that they agreed (I felt so much love).

But, don’t you worry I came in with some valid points and I won a couple friends over to my side!

To be fair, I think if there was a third option for the class to pick, the decisions may have been different! Aurora and I both made many valid points to begin which then blossomed the conversation into many different paths that I do not think either of us expected! Overall, it was a wonderful debate and I think I got some people thinking about why we are actually teaching something that can be googled!

So let’s begin:

I will start by summarizing up my side of the debate. I have to say that I found it very difficult to find articles that specifically looked at Google searches replacing education, most of the articles I found related broadly to technology replacing older teaching methods! The four main points I decided to address through my video are listed as follows:

  1. Having access at our fingertips helps us move from rote memorization of google-able facts to innovative thinking: Instead of spending lots of time in the classroom memorizing facts that can easily be googled, you can now use that time to further understandings of those concepts. The article linked above does a great job of explaining the importance of moving away from memorization and more towards exploratory learning!
  2. Current models of curriculum do not allow for personalized learning: Becuase our curriculum is focused on developing students to memorize facts and all think the same, there is no time for students to expand their knowledge on interests they may have. Using Google search engine allows students to realize a vast amount of knowledge that is offered to them at the tips of their fingers. This will then change the face of education to the teacher not being the information giver and the student to be able to regurgitate, we then move into the possibilities of the teacher becoming a moderator or facilitator in the class and students having the ability to self direct their learning! This point can also be linked to many articles that are linked above and below!
  3. Saving time for critical thinking: Saving time by googling facts that can effectively be googled allows time for classroom instruction on teachings that are not easily googled such as application questions and lab work! The article linked above not only reflects on how Google searches can be time savers but also many other advantages google search engines allow for students and individuals. This article states that by using Google individuals can learn mistakes of others through sharing of experiences, this not only allows students to make connections with other individuals around the world but also save them the time from making those same mistakes.
  4. Bringing teaching into the 21st century: With technology so vastly distributed throughout society, many of our students will be introduced to these forms of communication at a very young age. By integrating Google into the classroom we move away from structured learning and into learning that allows for problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. The article linked above really reflects on the different approaches that need to be done in education to allow students to be more stimulated in their learning as well as prepare them for life after school as they live in a technology-filled world.

To conclude my statement, I ensured to give pointers to help teachers understand how to use Google search engines to their fullest potential inside and out of the class. Kathleen Morris gave many great pointers on how to successfully teach students to make effective google searches that will give them true and real articles and information. I believe this is a very important lesson to be taught in classrooms as technology is becoming so integrated into today’s society!

Do you disagree?

I know Aurora did when she gave many great points to why she supported the side that teachers should still teach Google-able information in the classroom! Check out her video here to listen to the statements to support her argument:

Aurora’s four main points were:

  1. Information vs Misinformation: This reflected the abundance of information that can be found on Google. Some of this information yes is correct, however, a lot of the information that can be found online can also be incorrect. Aurora argued this is a main problem with not teaching something that can be googled because how do you ensure that your students are getting the correct and accurate information on the topic. This is a very valid point, but I just wanted to point out that the information we learn from our teachers may not always be accurate or correct. Teachers are human beings that hold their own values and beliefs and that is often shown throughout their teachings. In ECE 325 we focus a lot on becoming an anti-bias teacher, however, I think it may take a lot more work than just saying you are one, you must also be able to act on this as well! The TED talk linked above put this point into a very interesting perspective that there is a human behind the algorithm! An interesting thought that I never overly considered when I was stating my perspective!
  2. Stopping Points: The second point Aurora made was Google searches result in stopping points for students to further their knowledge about a topic. This can be seen in the article linked to this point. However, I disagree. In my argument, I stated that Google searches allowed for more exploration of a topic because it allows students to spend less time memorizing the basic skills one needs to further their understanding of complicated concepts!
  3. The Human Factor: The third point Aurora made was stating that technology can not give the connection and relationship as a human being can to a child. And if you were in EDTC400 class on Tuesday you probably noticed I did not touch on this point because I completely agree! I agree with this point, that yes there are many online resources that allow you to connect and build relationships all over the world, however, nothing compares to face to face relationships that can be built in the classroom between students and their teachers.
  4. Lack of Basic Skills: The last point Aurora mentioned to support her argument was stating that because of the integration of technology and Google in the classroom and at home students are losing their basic motor skills, as well as literacy and numeracy skills. The article linked above shows how young children are not as developed as they should be with their fine motor skills because of technology advancements which I completely agree with! As for literacy and numeracy, there are hundreds of online programs that allow students to further their knowledge in both literacy and numeracy as well as become more competent and confident in the online world!

What else?

Aurora and I were not the only ones who raised many important perspectives and points that someone should consider when debating this very controversial topic! Lauren raised the point of access to technology and if schools and students do not have access to these resources is that going to set them even farther behind then students who have access to technology that allows them to do quick Google searches? Another interesting point that was raised was by Ashlee. Ashlee asked if there could be a middle ground, a place where teachers still could teach google-able information and then have the Google search engine as a resource to help students better understand the topic or learn from different sources! Another perspective that was discussed throughout the debate was where do we draw the line between what information should be Googled and what we should teach since almost everything can be Googled! The last perspective that was very interesting and something I never thought about was when Daniel made the comment that in his university classes he is not allowed to display his work or answers in any other way then how his professor taught it, this then takes away the opportunity to use the Google search engine as a second option!

Time to conclude! 

Before starting to research for this debate, I was heavily on the side of the disagree! I thought it was a crazy thought that we should stop teaching what can be googled, I mean what can’t be googled! As I began my research process, I thought it was very interesting to find the points that were being laid out to support my argument. As I continued, I began thinking about why are we really teaching information that can easily be googled? After I finished my video more connections were being made to the number of times I googled a simple fix to a problem I was having both in my studies and in my life. The points I have listed above to support my argument I agree with completely, however, I also agree with many points Aurora stated as well as the new points that our fellow classmates contributed. With that, I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to say that we should not teach something that can be googled but, we should use Google as another resource that we can incorporate into our classroom to give our students a variety of opportunities to further their learning and gain deeper understandings of the content. I am not here to make teachers obsolete, I mean I am in this profession after all! I just believe that there is much more to education than a teacher giving the information and a student retaining that exact information. To see a shift towards using Google and other resources in the classroom also requires a shift in the viewpoints that the education system is formed on. I believe one day we will reach this shift and it will make learning endless, and allow for knowledge to be accessed from all over the world. I am so pleased I decided to do this debate topic. I have not only learned new information about the topic alone, but also my future goals as an educator!

I thank all of my EDTC400 classmates for joining me on this new discovery of knowledge! I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!

 

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2 thoughts on “Should we teach what can be googled? A battle I did not win!

  1. Hey Sydney! Great job on your debate this week! Even though you may not have “won” based on the final vote, I think that you really did a great job presenting and supporting your side of the debate! You had your work cut out for you and you did really make me think more critically about the power and role of google in education! In my mind, even sharing you ideas was a win! Good work!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Should Educators Not Teach Things That Can be Googled? – Shaleen Anne

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