Thursday, March 28, 2013

Is googling "low level"

There was a tweet a while ago challenging students to come up with questions that were "non-googleable". I think this is great. Real researchers go out and talk to people, do surveys and collect data and information from a range of sources. I strongly encourage this practise with students . Now there is a circle of thought that "googling" is low level - and of this I am not so sure. Students have always come up with questions and traditionally gone straight to the library, found a book (or 2 or 3 if you have a good library) and then copied information or taken notes etc to explain their findings. Google has merely sped up the process. As long as students are accessing websites of merit, or being discerning in their use of the information they have found - then nothing has really changed. So to say that googling is low level stuff, means that all research work like this has also been low level. Of that I am not convinced. Students knowing how to use key words and to find information from a range of sources requires a fair amount of knowledge and skills. In fact, being able to sort the huge amount of information available at the ir finger tips, from a google search, possibly means that students are required to be even more sophisticated in their use of information these days, than previously. While I support the thinking behind asking questions that can't be answered by a google search, I still believe that students need to get good at searching and using information made available from a web search. We are looking into how SOLE (self organising learning environments)can be implement ed in our Year 3-8 classes. We already have self-directed learning occurring in various forms. With SOLE being introduced we have a common system and this is kicking off in term 2. I am looking forward to seeing what occurs and talking with teachers about what we see from our students.

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