When’s the last time you used Google to search for information needed in your daily life?
If you have access to an Internet-connected device, I bet you’ve googled within the last 12 hours.
“To Google” has become an active verb in the landscape of peoples’ lives. There has been no other time in history where information been so readily available with the touch of a few buttons. It’s amazing but it can also be overwhelming and difficult to navigate.
Now. imagine your brain isn’t fully developed. This maybe easier for some folks than others. And, sorry school aged kids- brains don’t really developed until your early to mid-twenties. Google it; it’s science.
Try wading through a sea of information.
Information- it comes at you from all angles.
Google. Social Media. 24 Hour News Cycle.
As adults, we often find ourselves in the same predicament. Maybe that’s why we find it so hard to teach in the world of Google.
“To Teach” at its core includes a responsibility to embrace lifelong learning, which includes evolving with technology. Teachers are not the “end all and be all” of content knowledge anymore whether they are teaching learners in a traditional classroom or beyond.
If my dedicated colleagues are offended by this statement, I’m not sorry. Truly.
Newsflash: there is Google. There are “experts” on the Internet. Heck, there are entire FREE courses and textbooks out there. Yes, they’re reputable. Need examples? Here are two:
If a learner can Google the answer to a posed problem, is it meaningful?
Are you teaching students how to wade through information and decipher its validity? Or are you teaching to the end of course test?
That last worksheet you assigned, could students Google all the answers to complete the work? Rote memorization and busy work in a world where Google exists is NOT teaching, just hanging out at the bottom of Bloom’s Taxonomy, not teaching kids how to learn but how to regurgitate.
So, the real challenge is how to construct instruction in a way that forces thinking beyond key word searching in Google.
Five Ways for Google-Proofing Your Instruction and Why You Should
1. Go beyond the “meat and potatoes.” One of the best ways to make an assignment more challenging is to actually give the answers to the most essential pieces of knowledge. Yes, I typed that correctly- give them the ANSWERS, what I like to call the “meat and potatoes.” Then have them process the essential knowledge by creating something that connects with students’ schema. As long as they are able to make it personal, they can make their learning “sticky.”
2. Leave room. Ensure you leave enough room in each assignment for students to put their own “spin” on the material and show their mastery of the content simultaneously. Too often teachers give every student a worksheet and they get in return the same answers from each of their student (and P.S. they probably Googled the answers). It is more difficult to provide feedback to students when every kid turns in a different product, but it is far more meaningful. Just don’t forget to provide feedback, rubrics are a good place to start.
3. Use Bloom’s Taxonomy. Whether you are already familiar with the framework (it’s an oldie but a goodie) or you are just starting out, Bloom’s is a pretty good basis for understanding varying levels of instruction. Provide the main facts when starting a new topic or conducing an assignment , or what I called “the meat and potatoes” that are within the lower levels of remembering and understanding. Then, require students to go beyond that understanding. Here is some information on Bloom’s Taxonomy:
4. Familiarize yourself with SAMR to make sure you are getting the most out of technology integration. SAMR is the acronym for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. It’s a technology infused version of Bloom’s Taxonomy. The higher you go in the SAMR model, the higher level/critical thinking you will require of your students in the process.
Here are some resources to use when researching SAMR:
5. Everyone else is doing it. Google, that is. It’s never considered”cheating” if you use Google outside of an academic setting. Academia calls it cheating but utilizing Google in the real world is just “par for the course.” Furthermore, learning to decipher relevant and accurate information online teaches skills that transcend the walls of the classroom. So, there’s that.
What are you thoughts on Google-proofing instruction? What challenges have you faced teaching in the world of Google?