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Posts Tagged ‘Search Engines’

As I revised a lesson on search tools for sixth grade this week, research and statistics confirmed what I already instinctively knew: that things have changed dramatically in one short year.  Searchme, which I discussed last year,  no longer exists.  Bing has appeared and made a strong showing.  Google’s search share has increased.  Specific question and answer search tools have cut into market share.  And these are just the glaring examples.  If the tools themselves have changed so drastically, shouldn’t our lessons be changing to reflect these innovations?  It is discouraging to see the same assignments being recycled by teachers year after year, with little or no adaptation to take advantage of the advances in technology.  How are our students going to be prepared for future expectations when they have to take steps backwards to create outdated projects?  And why do teachers continue to insist on the completion of such futile assignments?  Again, I can come to only one conclusion: resistance to change.  But what, if not the needs of our students, is important enough to spur this change? Changes in technology must leave the boundaries of the computer lab and the library.  It doesn’t help to give students information and training if it’s never used in a practical sense to create an original product.  I’m beginning to wonder, though, when this will ever happen.  Technology training for faculty, sharing information on a faculty wiki, and face-to-face discussions have only produced a few converts.  When will the rest see the writing on the wall?  Only time will tell (if it doesn’t run out).

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