Saturday, 28 November 2015

Let me Google that for you

This post has been in the works for quote some time.  In fact it started with a conversation with my good friend Michelle Cordy in China on a high speed train.

We were joking about a tweet on downloading youtube clips on chrome and I tweeted that I found this on google. This was then replied with: did you just let me Google that. My reply was yes.

This is a conversation that we are having more and more as the power of technology grows. Our students have in their hands a whole universe of knowledge and this is just what they are doing. Can you blame them?

However, just googling it is so much more and this was were Michelle ' s and I conversation went. When I google I don't just let the first response dictate the information I use, I don't just keyword something and believe the information, I curate.

The funny thing is curate means to be a priest in charge (a fact I didn't know till today and yes google told me this); however, to:

curate something (especially on the Internet) to collect, select and present information or items such as pictures, video, music, etc. for people to use or enjoy, using your professional or expert knowledge.

When I search for information for friends or myself I use Google but I collect and select carefully. It isn't just any information that I use but ones that I feel are important for my research.

So how does this relate to today's classroom. Lately I have heard a lot of fear that we are raising a society that jusy google and that is not good enough. My fear isn't that I am raising kids who google but that we are raisin kids to memorize and not critically think about the facts they consume.

Information isn't like it was when we were kids, even when our parents were kids. Information is rapidly changing. In my lifetime I have used encyclopedias (book form), to digital Cds, to having it at my finger tips. Information changes so quickly that we have new phones every Six months. The information we are giving our kids will not serve them when they head into the work force. What will is being able to critically think and search for that information.

So I am fine that my students are googling, in fact they should be because my assessment and learning doesn't depend on the facts they find but how they use those facts. Googling is a tool that our kids should learn how to use. They should be curators of data and learn how to search, find, and use the data that is at their finger tips.

What do you think? Love to hear your thoughts.