Monday, September 9, 2013

How has Google changed education?

Do you remember a world way back then, when you had to find a piece of information you went to the library? Sat all night searching? And still didn’t find it?
And then came Google…

All of us can argue unanimously that Google has revolutionized access to information as we know it. Its impact on education is so vast that it is still being fully researched as we speak. It has changed the way people think of research and assimilate data, which means that a change of framework has took place. These days, a whole generation is approaching education in a different, exciting new way

In days before Google, a student faced an assignment with thoughts of visits to the library and the thought of that he may have to talk to adults or mentors for specific subject expertise. Today, more often than not, the first stop for a history paper or a science experiment is Google. The notion that a search string can lead to targeted sites has completely cut out the random search for information.
Google has made the process of education a lot more focused and has truly democratized the process. So, essentially a child in a developing community in rural Oklahoma has the same access to information as a child in an upwardly mobile community in Manhattan. Wherever there is Internet access Google offers well sorted and pertinent information that truly makes the quest for knowledge a piece of cake.
The flip side to this, as far as teachers and schools are concerned, is that students can get overly-confident about their research capabilities. They sometimes completely miss out on the idea of researching with books and talking to librarians about reference books. There is also the danger that students do not understand that not all published information is equally valuable. Students need to learn this kind of skill as part of their education if they are going to rely on the Internet and Google for all their information.

What do you think? Was education better or worse before the mighty search engine? 

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