This week, our first debate was about whether teachers should teach things that can be googled. As we watched the videos, I quickly realized that there was some ambiguity in what this topic actually meant. Our class spent some time talking about what sorts of things “googling” meant, and came to the conclusion that we were really arguing whether teachers should teach base level knowledge, or let students learn that on their own, and only teach deep concepts that require teacher assistance. Still, at many times during the debate I found myself confused about what we were debating. I remember adding an argument to the debate and then thinking “What side did I just argue for?”
After having some time to digest the information, if we aren’t being too nit picky about the topic, it does make sense that teachers should cater subject material based on things that students can’t just Google in five seconds and then never think about again. The article “How Has Google Affected The Way Students Learn?” makes a strong argument that “If students can Google answers — stumble on (what) you want them to remember in a few clicks — there’s a problem with the instructional design.” This also relates to how the internet is being used to cheat. If teachers create a format where Google can’t just provide students with answers, it ensures that students still have to use their own brains to think. I have seen this happen in my university classes now that we have switched to online learning. Since tests are not administered anymore, most of my profs have adjusted by making our tests “open book” (meaning we can access our notes and the internet during the test), but because of this they have said that the questions will be higher order thinking. Again, if we don’t think about this topic overly critically, our teaching should alter based on how technology progresses in our society, as mentioned in most of our debates.
So, the conclusion that I have reached is that although students shouldn’t completely avoid teaching anything that can be Googled, they should definitely limit shallow concepts to save more time for topics that will give students relational understanding.