Intelligence in a Sea of Data
The science classroom is intentionally a place where learning occurs … wherestudents are intended to come to know certain things about the nature of the world welive in. But what exactly does that mean? Merriam-Webster tells us that the word
comes, via various detours through linguistic byways, from the Latin present participle of
: to know. While the etymology of a word does not determine contemporaryconnotation or denotation, it is the case that science is a (and probably
) dominantWestern means of knowing, understanding, and therefore learning about the world today.But when just about anything anyone wants to know is a simple search away, what,specifically, constitutes education in the age of Google? And, is it enough to know
?A veteran science teacher that I interviewed broached this topic when Iinterviewed him recently. During our discussion of educational technology, I asked him if there are any ways that technology hinders learning. His answer is both insightful andrevealing, for multiple reasons:At times it may end up giving people a real quick fix to a problem and they maynot be actually forced to think it through. Since Google, students need an answerquickly, so they don't know how to use a glossary or index. They want somethingright away, and to look back to a previous paragraph is too much effort.
He’s actually saying two things here. First, that students in some cases are seeking
Interview with veteran teacher conducted January 27, 2009, by John Koetsier.