The Great Ed. Tech. Debate: Google and it’s Place in the Classroom

This past weeks debate focused around the topic argument for an against the following, “Schools should not focus on teaching things that can be googled: Agree or disagree?”. While each of my classmates debated I found myself agreeing with both sides of the argument. Sydney and Aurora both did an amazing job! Syndey’s argument focused on the pro side of the debate while Aurora’s focused on the con side.

Pro Side:

Sydney’s argument focuses on the concept that schools should not focus on teaching things that can be googled. Sydney explains the concept of memorization and how why should we as educators spend so much time on ensuring students have memorized the information we have given to them rather than give students the tools they need to succeed. The article,Why learn facts if you can google?” further examines this concept and dives into the exploration of curricula and that if you cut back on traditional teaching such as having students memorize multiplication facts you can spend that time personalizing students learning experiences instead. While  I’m not 100% personally sold on this point, it is one to consider.

The next article, Advent of Google means we must rethink our approach to education, however, does spark my interest. While the article discusses the concept of minimalizing traditional teaching, it also explores revamping education. This excites me as the discussion of bringing in google searches, collaboration, and inquiry into the classroom. These concepts make me think of how we as educators are preparing students for life once they are done school, and as the saying goes, we are preparing students for careers that haven’t even been invented yet. So remains the question of how do we prepare students for the unknown? This is where becoming technologically literate becomes so important because if students are technologically literate they have the tools they need to think critically, synthesize, and problem-solve to learn.

Con Side:

Aurora’s argument focused on the concept that schools should focus on teaching things that should be googled.  Aurora shared this Ted Talk, which explains the results we find through the act of googling. Technology offers so much information, however, can be censored thus providing biased search results. When learning through inquiry or through other process technology is used to gather information. But when information becomes censored it becomes an inaccurate source because it may not always include all the information students need to make an informed decision.

One of the articles Aurora shared, Will Technology Make Teachers Obsolete? explained the human factor to teaching; in that society will always need teachers, however, their role may change to becoming more of a moderator rather than a keeper of knowledge. In addition to explaining how important a teachers role is in giving students a love for a subject and mentoring students throughout their educational journey. I think this concept is so important because it places value on the hidden curriculum, the things that teachers teach students that aren’t mandated to be taught such as social responsibility, respect, and ethics.

Articles and research aside, my own personal belief is that educators should be providing students with the ability to think critically with the information they gather. So although students may be able to google information to learn from teachers are there to guide students to push students thinking further to really examine their findings to make an informed judgment. In closing, I believe that being able to google is important, however, I still think schools and educators need to focus on teaching students things that can be googled.

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One thought on “The Great Ed. Tech. Debate: Google and it’s Place in the Classroom

  1. Ken Ganshirt

    Hi Kaytlyn,

    Perhaps you felt it was implicit in your points about giving the students critical thinking skills – which I agree is crucial – but I think the most fundamental and basic job of teachers in the age of search engines is making sure they have a good solid understanding of a given subject. It’s not chicken/egg. Understanding the subject must be in place before critical thing skills can be of any benefit.

    Search engines won’t provide understanding. They’ll regurgitate data. And the data that generates the greatest advertising revenue will be at the top of the results list.

    You need both understanding of a subject and critical thinking skills. But please don’t make the mistake so many people make of assuming they are the same. They are not.

    If it helps to think of it this way, Critical Thinking is another subject/skill set to be taught and understood.

    …ken…

    Like

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