Google vs Teachers

Back in the day when we had a question, we would ask someone we believed knew all the answers. This person for me was my dad. I thought he was the smartest person in the world. He never could be stumped by a question. I believed he had all the knowledge in the world. My father was my ‘Google’ when I was young. And like the internet-he had a biased. I was learning from him and having faith that everything he said was true and not misinformation. We heard it all the time when we were young “My dad said so.” Now our students have the ability to ‘Google’ any question they have. The problem is not all students are able to determine if the information is credible. This is an important skill we need to teach early on in childhood in this digital age. There is so much misinformation going around on the internet. Adults today even struggle to know what is true and false information.

It is essential that we teach students how to properly determine what is real and fake. As Curtis and Lisa stated in their video, we must teach the 4C’s – Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking. They also taught about teaching students the difference between good knowledge vs bad knowledge.

Curtis and Lisa also went through the LoTi framework which is the Levels of Teaching Innovation. This model goes through the stages of teachers effectively implementing technology in their instruction and assessment to enhance higher level thinking. Their video was answering the statement ‘Schools should not focus on teaching things that can be easily googled’. This debate was a puzzling subject. Looking at the topic beforehand I was very confused and interested to see what my classmates would come up with. The debate had to make a few changes and adaptations as both sides had argued the same thing. We ended up having good conversations around this topic.

Daina and Jocelyn created a video and argument to state that ‘Schools should focus on teaching things that can be easily googled.” They argued that students don’t have the skills to properly acquire information from google. These skills must be taught so students are not relying on false information. Many students don’t have access to the internet. The internet is expensive and not all families can afford it. This digital divide makes it necessary for teachers to teach all topics in all ways. Google is not accessible to all students, therefore educators must teach all subjects. Educators also can have a deep understanding of a topic and can differentiate for students to be able to understand. Google doesn’t differentiate for kids and is not able to personalise learning for students.

Daina stated in her video about Google, “it is a tool, not a teacher”. Teachers cannot be replaced by google. Google does not give love, care, and authentic teaching/instruction to kids. It does not teach kids to think critically about what they are viewing on the internet.

In our class discussion there were many tools brought up. The idea of reinforcement was a topic of discussion. Students learning to read need a lot of repetition and need to be able to memorize. Kids learning sight words need repetition to be able to read these words automatically. There are many words in the English language that do not follow ‘rules’. In my class I call these “jail break” words because they break the rules and need to be put in jail. These words must be memorized because students cannot phonetically sound them out. Students at the level I teach also benefit from knowing their addition and subtraction facts automatically to 20. We discussed multiplication facts within the class too. These are skills that cannot be Googled.

Amanda brought up the idea of inquiry in young ages. This is something I was also thinking of while listening to the conversations. The curriculum in younger ages does allow flexibility and encourages this approach to teaching. The idea of Inquiry as a way of instruction within teaching is a progressive idea. In older grades it could be harder to implement this model into learning due to time allowed in the curriculum. This idea and way of instruction I believe depends on push from administration and school boards. My first year teaching, Inquiry was what we did as a school for all subjects besides Literacy and Numeracy. Inquiry was the approach we used for teaching health, science and social studies. As admin changed there was more of a push to get ‘minutes’ into our timetable for each of these subjects. Inquiry is a great tool to allow students to take a deep dive into topics of their interest and take ownership of their learning. They also can take leadership over the learning and can direct where the learning goes. Using this approach, students have to understand these topics by using many resources around them. This could mean people, books and/or the internet.

I am still a bit puzzled by the debate topic, but had many take aways from the videos and the discussions that came out of class. I believe Google cannot replace teachers, hands on learning, critical thinking and many skills students need to be successful. Educators need to teach students how to acquire good knowledge and have a balance of learning from more than one place. Anything under the sun can be Googled and answered, but just because something is easily Googled does not constitute it as real information.

Until next time,

Christina

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Published by christinapatt13

I am a grade 2/3 teacher in Regina, Sask. "The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein

6 thoughts on “Google vs Teachers

  1. I loved reading your post, Christina! I also teach littles, so I can relate to your “jail break” words and addition and subtraction facts. These are skills that can’t simply be Googled. Well, I supposed addition/subtraction facts could be… but there are so many hands on techniques to help students have a deeper understanding of these techniques that cannot be taught on a screen. I also liked your statement about not knowing if their Googled information is fact or fake. “Fake news” seems to be so popular on the internet now, so I agree with you that it is crucial to teach students how to know fact from fake information. It is a tool some adults could also use!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am starting to think I should just read your posts BEFORE I write my own, because the whole time I was saying to myself “Oh ya! – I forgot that” or “Good point, I should have talked about that too” . What you mentioned near to the beginning of your post – “They argued that students don’t have the skills to properly acquire information from google. These skills must be taught so students are not relying on false information.” was such a topic of conversation in our last Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Class, because one of the fundamental goals to creating digital citizens familiar with all 9 elements of DC – is that students DO have the skills to properly acquire and curate online information. It makes me wonder what the future would look like when students are able (at a younger age) to do so – or if that is even possible!

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  3. Great thoughtful post Christina. My Dad was also my Google when I was little. He seemed to know everything! I totally agree that Google can give basic information but it does not differentiate for different learners. This is the job of a teacher. The topic of digital divide keeps popping up and I agree with you that it shows up here also. I love using inquiry with students to learn new material, but I also have seen in the last few years that there is more of a focus on getting the minutes into our timetable. The inquiry process takes time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My dad was also my “google” and in many ways he still is. In lots of ways we grew up idolizing our parents and our teachers in this way, and whether or not we can google something, doesn’t take away the respect we have/had. Watching my 70 year-old dad use “google” to fix a washing machine, or calling out to his Google Home system, “Hey Google, tell me a joke” makes me smile. He is still the smartest person I know, and seeing him learn new technology makes me proud. We can use technology to add to our knowledge, it doesn’t make us less smart. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have the same faith in what we googled, as we did with our dad’s answers when we were young. It is so important to teach people to be informed consumers of technological information. Thanks for your relatable post.

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