Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Why remember? Google can do the brain work for you.


Implications for schools
  • Let the reference section of the library die - do not buy reference books unless there is absolutely nothing suitable on the net.

  • Teaching students how to search effectively is one of the most important things that you can teach them.

  • Times tables are still worth remembering.

Some quotes from this fantastic article:
As more people find themselves spending much of the day within arm's reach — or even pocket's reach — of something that can tap into the Internet, search engine Google quickly is taking the place of not only a trip to the library, but also a call home to Mom, a recipe box, the phone book and neighborly advice.

"It is amazing how often I use the search engine when I can't think of something," says the public-relations associate at PAN Communications in Andover, Mass. "My roommate and I don't have arguments about trivia anymore — they usually last about as long as it takes our DSL to open up the search page."

In the midst of packing for her family's move from New Jersey to Las Vegas, marketer Cynthia Mun had a revelation: "I was going through my files and I thought, 'Why do I need this stuff anymore? If I need something, I'll just Google it.' " She and her husband were in the process of turning a decade or so's worth of clippings, files and reports into packing material when their overheated shredder gave up the ghost.

Do these experiences mean that Google is fundamentally changing our notion of memory? Plato wrote: "For this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it; they will not exercise their memories." He wasn't talking about Google; he was talking about writing.

In pre-literate societies, what was worth remembering might be complex information about who can marry whom, or the history of long-term trading relationships, she says. Today, "the emphasis on what kinds of knowledge need to be remembered has shifted."

there should be a kind of Google Olympics to see who can find a craftily hidden piece of information the fastest. Giving up on memorizing state capitals is one thing. But Google has definitely had an effect on students, says Jeffrey Schwartz, a professor of the history of science at the University of Pittsburgh. "They're worse at spelling," he says, because Google is life's spell checker. Type in
conscious and Google pops back with "Did you mean: conscious."

Does our increasing dependence on Google pose a danger? John Rooney, professor of psychology at La Salle University in Philadelphia, worries. "The knowledge that we have 'in our heads' is much more than factual information. It provides us with perspective on ourselves and our relationship to our physical and social environment."
The scenario at the end is great - hehe


  • At 6:05 am, Anonymous Roland said…

    I will pass this onto our librarian for a good read. Thanks for the post :-)


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