Daily Archives: October 29, 2008


"Googling isn't learning."

I saw this quote in an article in an educational glossy lying in the staffroom and it caught my eye enough to use (ironically enough) Google to find the source. It comes from The Australian newspaper in an article written by Justine Ferrari titled interestingly enough "Low marks for computers in schools" - an interesting read in itself. If you read the full article, you will notice that I have lifted those three consecutive words totally out of context - it's not entirely what the quoted professor was intending to say - but it's more the fact that this quote sums up a lot of educators' mindsets is what intrigues me.

Using Google or any other search engine is definitely learning in my book but the degree of effectiveness can vary according to purpose. Even the most shallow of cut'n'paste efforts learns something, even if it's to become better lifters of text for shallowly defined assignments. But with an effective teacher at the helm, Google can be a very powerful tool to improve student information literacy. I get what the quote hints at to some degree - too often students are just left to use Google without any scaffolding or guidance on how to interpret or manipulate the results.

Again, Google's potential benefit is totally determined by the pedagogy employed in its use. Sometimes, a person offering an opinion that "Googling isn't learning" is revealing something about how they view the process of learning.

Image: 'Google logo render - mark knol'