Last week, at the math conference, I saw a session in the program book entitled "Discovering the Answer: Combatting the Google Generation."
I teach the Google generation. The generation of Siri, "ok google," youtube, apps, and instant everything.
Right now, we're up to the next step in our Native American unit. Each child has chosen a specific research topic to learn more about. No longer are they taking notes from a specific book, with all the information clearly laid out.
Now, they have to find pieces of information in a larger book. The first few days I heard "but this book isn't about my topic!" - We learned how to use the index and table and contents and be patient while we searched for information.
Sure, we could have gone to the computer lab and answered our research questions quickly. But, I want the google generation to learn that sometimes, a little hard work and investigating is just as rewarding (if not more rewarding!) then simply asking google to tell you the answer.
Friday, we sat around the rug and each child shared what they've learned so far. I was blown away. Students explaining the ceremonies of the Iroquois, how the Pueblo built their houses, how the Cheyenne hunted the buffalo, to how the women of the Nez Perce cared for their children.
I told them, they worked for this information! They kept searching in books, that they now owned this information, and these skills will forever stay with them.
Google may be the easy option, but the effort is so, so worth it.
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