One of the worst things and educator can do is to do a Google News search for “education.” The results are a misplaced stew of questions that can never be solved (I like to think of those as “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin” type of education questions) along with a series of platitudinal posts, such as “Education System Could Use an Overhaul.”

One would imagine that the beauty of search is that it responds to what we put in. But searching for “education solutions” provides an even less satisfying result, finding gems such as standardized testing prep courses and, of course, “Education Solutions are Needed in Schools.”

What did we used to do when we wanted to examine questions and answers in education – in the days before our first response to everything was to “Google it”? I think we began with conversations. What’s described today as our personal learning network (PLN) always existed. It was our colleagues, friends and family, people we studied with. Most were local but not all – we reached out to others by reading journals, having book discussions, doing professional development. Questions and answers were longer to come by, but maybe they were more meaningful. Maybe the ubiquity of search has sacrificed depth, meaning, and relevance for speed?

Google and the like are amazing tools. The volume of information available to us in a fraction of a second is beyond comprehension. Sometimes, so are the results.

Don Adams, Head of School

April 4th, 2013 – To Google or Not To Google