Google and the Classroom

Published by Arun Isaac on

Tags: musing

It is true the average classroom is a really boring place to be in especially when the teacher is unable to effectively deliver the content. And when students find that their questions don't get satisfactory replies, they lose interest and enthusiasm. But there is also another important factor involved - the Internet.

WWW Open Book

Figure 1: WWW Open Book

With the advent of the Internet, the classroom scenario has changed a lot. Teachers feel that these days students are so unresponsive and hardly interact in the class with their doubts and ideas. To be fair on the teachers, one way delivery of information without any sign of acknowledgement or understanding from the students can be so frustrating.

It is true the average classroom is a really boring place to be in especially when the teacher is unable to effectively deliver the content. And when students find that their questions don't get satisfactory replies, they lose interest and enthusiasm. But there is also another important factor involved - the Internet.

Once upon a time, especially in higher areas of education, students had to depend on books and learned teachers. Getting the finer aspects clarified always involved long dusty sessions in the library spent poring over arcane text books. But gone are those days. Now, we have the Internet, and ofcourse Google! Students no longer need to apply themselves so hard in the classroom. Any doubts, Google will answer! Just phrase your question properly and Google will do the rest!

I do a lot of googling in class. When I don't find something clear , I just google it right there in class, and immediately I am clarified. And when studying on my own, I usually find Wikipedia to be rather exhaustive on giving an idea about the scope of the topic. Given all this, I really don't understand why cell phones have to be banned from the classroom (or why teachers have to hold cell phones hostage for a period of six months).

This abundance of information is so empowering. Really makes being an autodidact a lot easier…!

And truly, Google has redefined the entire idea of a search engine. The idea of searching the Internet is forgotten. Now, it is all about "googling". To google has become a verb! Such is its impact…!

The vast collection of articles in Wikipedia is also remarkable. Apart from the very technical and the very esoteric, EVERYTHING ELSE can be found there. And that really is a shining example of how a disparate community can come together to create such a knowledge repository.

Image Credits

WWW Open Book -- by RobertCailliau, released into the public domain