Teaching Better Web Searching

The Ontario curriculum has a lot of “stuff” to cover. Facts, terms, concepts and theories are important and valid. Unfortunately, teachers often obsess over ensuring they ‘taught everything’ and there’s little time to teach skills.  This is the exact opposite of where we need to be heading to make our students productive, engaged adults of the future.

Dr. Sugata Mitra argues the future of education will require three core elements.

1) reading comprehension – students must be able to understand what they are reading and be critical about it

2) Search and retrieval skills (see below)

3) believe – thoughts and ideas have no limits. Create, inquire, challenge. Believe.

So, where do you start? Work these sorts of activities into your classes. Recognize your students will always go to Google first. Also remember, they have a lot of trouble finding things online. They aren’t necessarily the DIGITAL NATIVES they’re cracked up to be.

GoogleTipsAndTricksPres –> this is a great resource (thank you to Gabriel Massicotte for this document)!

My students often hear me say, “To the Google!” It’s their cue to pull out their smartphones and look for an answer.

As educators or parents, we also have to understand some of the more challenging aspects of googling. This fantastic TEDtalk addresses some issues we need to think about. Most importantly: how have my former choices on Google impacted the results I’m currently getting and how can I change that?


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