“Searching Online Is A Waste of Time” – Really?!?!?!
Once upon a time my partner, Susana , was sitting in a room full of teachers when she overheard something that got her blood flowing.
Before I go on, I guess I should tell you some background. Susana and I work full-time as consultants for publicly funded schools promoting 21st Century teaching and learning strategies. We work with teachers to promote reflective practice and focus on teaching teachers to teach learning strategies.
So, imagine Susana and I sitting at the lunch table, when across the room a teacher says
I tell my students to just use their textbooks to find information, searching online is a waste of time
Wow, really? [start sarcasm] Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for promoting the use of expensive textbooks bought with public funding. How else would unnamed publishing companies make their money on information that is available for free? [/end sarcasm] Seriously, information is so abundant it is effectively worthless. Our jobs as educators in the 21st century is to teach our students to discern between what is required and what is superfluous. Students must learn to discriminate between reliable and unreliable sources. Susana would agree with me when I say that this skill is possibly one of the most important in the digital world and in a global community. Information is coming at them more than ever on; google, bing, facebook, twitter, the blogosphere, YouTube, podcasts, tv news broadcast, radio and… oh yeah, print resources including textbooks.
The only way that our students will learn this is if we explicitly teach these skills and provide opportunity to hone them. Searching online is anything but a waste of time.