Google and learning: and the Melbourne Cup too!

Melbourne Cup 2007

Melbourne Cup 2007,
originally uploaded by Jock the terrible.

Tuesday the Melbourne Cup is run. This horse race means that it is a public holiday in Melbourne. I was doing some research on Google and found this and thought it was appropriate. It is amazing how many adaptations of the “Google” logo there are. As a brand, just about everyone in the world today is familiar with the product. There are many opinions about it. The articles “Is Google making us stupid?” posed by Nick Carr in The Atlantic and another in The Australian “Low marks for computers in schools” on 18 Jun 2008, are critical of student use.

The potential in education for the use of search engines, like Google, depends on what teachers are willing to do. Teachers need to guide students on how to approach the search, how to interpret the results, understand about the ranking and how to critically assess the sites found. Many students don’t understand about using advanced search methods, choosing the best, most appropriate search terms and only look at the first page, if not the first or second hits. Teachers and teacher librarians are responsible for the type of student learning that occurs when students are on-line. The effectiveness of students using Google and other search engines, and the learning that occurs, depends on the preparatory work done towards the development of a digital literacy.

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