Guys, why don’t we just check Bing?

This week’s first debate was covering the topic that Schools should not be teaching anything that can be Googled.


Photo Credit: Franzgranlund

This was a tricky one for me. I am assuming the purpose of these debates are to prepare ourselves to be able to defend using technology in the classroom, to be able to mount a solid defense of our plan when it comes to technology.

To date, (with the three debates that have taken place) I’ve been on technology’s side. However, this debate, as I said earlier, was a little more tricky for me.

I agree that schools shouldn’t be teaching things that can just be googled, to a certain extent.

As soon as I typed my previous sentence, I knew that I needed examples, yet the examples that I think of could work for either argument, depending on your values and what you think is important in schooling today.

For example, if I was a High School Social/History teacher, I might not need to teach specific dates in History anymore, since these can easily be Googled. I should, however, focus on questions about the events impact today. (Difference between knowing the date World War One started and knowing the impact of the war)

But, even as I type this, I’m reminded of an episode of John Oliver, where he started (or at least shed light on)  misquotes that are becoming more and more prevalent online.

So how does one teach kids that not everything they see online is true, but also not weigh them down with information that might not be that relevant because it can be found online?

It seems like a catch 22.


Photo Credit: Innovative Wealth

Perhaps what is needed is also how a lot of our current classrooms work.  In my Kindergarten classroom, I combine exploring the world through play with learning basic facts, like letters and numbers.  I know that play is the most important thing in Kindergarten currently, but I also know that if I don’t explicitly teach some of these things, because, as Chayln points out, recall still needs to be taught and the kids in my classroom might struggle in Grade One.

Or they might not.  As we know by now, scientific studies can be made to say anything you want them to.

Looking at the articles this week, I find that I agree with both sides.  Yes, we should memorize some things. Other things we need to look at critically. Besides,  as Katherine says, students are going to use it, no matter what we as teachers think about it.

So does this debate topic have more shades of grey than others? Can we both agree and disagree with a topic? I agree that we shouldn’t be teaching things that can be easily looked up, but we still need to teach kids the basic building blocks (such as reading and math) so that they can be trained to think critically about the information that Google gives them. After all, we can’t hope to feel lucky all of the time.


3 thoughts on “Guys, why don’t we just check Bing?

  1. Amy

    I agree with you Ellen- there needs to be a balance of both. We don’t need to teach things that can be googled, but we need to teach basic skills for students to build on. Great post! That first cartoon made me laugh 🙂


  2. Pingback: Let’s Google It? | Justine Stephanson's Blog

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