Week 6 – is Google making us stoopid or stupid?

28 Aug

by Jacob Claven, Adrian Paglia and Natarjsha Kramer

Google is not making us stupid. It is a gateway to an unimaginable learning.

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“To organize the world’s information to make it universally accessible and useful.”

This is the mission statement of the world’s largest search engine, Google Inc.

And how did we find this statement? “Googling” of course.

Whether you are using Google for scholarly information or for your personal benefits there is generally always a need for accessing this search engine. The power and growth of the search engine within today’s society was highlighted when the term “google” was included in the 4th Edition of Australia’s Macquarie Dictionary in 2005.

 Today our access to the internet and in particular the information provided by search engines is so universally rich it often seems you could literally find anything. Enter in a keyword or phrases and Google rarely disappoints.

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With the introduction of smart phones and tablets into today’s society, Google has become more accessible than ever.  We can access it wherever we want and when we want it. It’s on demand.

 We live in a world where technology and the ability to be connected matter. Information on any topic can be sought, in a matter of seconds, not hours.

 It’s not just scholarly information we seek, Google’s accessibility allows us to access such things as the address of the local fish and chip shop, phone numbers to call the bank, maps on how to get here and there when you are lost.

 Lazy? No. Intelligent? Yes.

 Google becomes smarter every second of every day and so do we. We as the user generate, contribute and shape the content.

We now no longer use the term ‘search’ for so something, we ‘google’ it.

Is Google Making us Smarter

Professor Gary Small –  “Internet searching engages complicated brain activity, which may help exercise and improve brain function.”

GOOGLE TEST

When was google established?

What are the coordinates of Australia?

What is the capital of Ecuador?

Skimming

 In this day and age

–          ‘skimming’

–          ‘reading over ‘

–          ‘sifting through’

–          ‘power browsing’

Or any of the above terms are used to describe the way in which individuals find key information in large slabs of text.

This method has come under fire in the readings as Carr believes that this style of sourcing information is directly linked to individual’s lack of concentration and ability to retain long stints of information.

However this style of researching allows individuals to gather the information they need and leave irrelevant details behind.

 As we all know, the internet and web 2.0 has become a massive space full of various opinions and propositions, however the structure used by the web means that information can often be out dated and easily built up making it physically impossible for anyone to read all the information  on such topics they are researching in the first place.

This leaves a perfect platform for the efficient tool of power browsing to come into play forcing individuals to develop a sense of urgency, helping them save time.

It would be naive to think that the youth of today could go into the future workforce and education system without not only using Google as a base for research but being “good” at using Google and the concept of power browsing.

“People extract tiny pieces of information on a need to know basis”

How Google is Making us Smarter

However it seems that we are constantly under attack. Text messages are making us illiterate, blogs are making us unrefined, YouTube makes us shallow and author Nicholas Carr wrote an article in The Atlantic, “Is Google Making Us Stoopid?”

 In the article Nicholas Carr argues that are brains are being damaged and we are becoming robbed of our memories and deep thoughts. “As we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world,” “it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.”

 It is hard to believe however that through having access to such copious amounts and diverse ranges of information that we are disadvantaged. We can still access and use traditional resources, Google and the internet just make it easier and less time consuming which at the end of the day is more profitable for everyone.

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QUESTIONS…

“We are training our brains to retain the information we know we need and not the information we think we might need” – Agree or Disagree?

“Have you Googled today?”

“Have you ever struggled to find what you were looking for on Google?”

“Have you ever Googled yourself?”

“How many other Google platforms such as maps or Gmail have you used in the last two weeks?”

“Do you believe we are rewiring our brains to negatively affect our capacity and ability to think?”

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