Things we cannot Google

Posted on December 13, 2010


Our 18-year-old helper, who also attends a nearby state college, was ranting last weekend about an unusual assignment. On 10 sheets of yellow pad, her teacher instructed her class to copy some texbook pages by hand. While I suspect it was supposed to help them memorize their lessons, their teacher could have put their time to better use.

In this Information Age, students can leave much of the memory work to the Google database. What they need is more space for discussions and activities that allow them to break things down (analysis), put things together (synthesis), and find the connections between different subject matters in view of a bigger picture (contextualization).

Students do not need an information overload as much as the tools to make sense of a complex world.