I recently stumbled across an article on the BBC News website, after reading this article I became somewhat befuddled.
The opening statement was as follows:
“Children in the UK prefer using Google to asking their parents or teachers when they have a question…”
A snapshot survey asked 500 children between the age of 10-16 years old;
– ‘how do you find out new information?’
– ‘you need to find an answer to a question you don’t know the answer to, what do you do?’.
A staggering 54% of the children suggested that they would tend to ‘Google’ the question to find the answer, only 26% implied that they would ask their parents. Furthermore and even more worrying, only 15 children (3%) said that they would ask their teacher.
As teachers we are supposedly looked up to as ‘fountains of knowledge’ and ‘role models’ who’s job it is to educate the children of future generations. However, if only 3% of 500 children feel they would ask their teacher for an answer to an uncertain question, does this suggest education needs to change? Do teachers need to change their approach to delivering these ‘answers’?
The research continued to state that 91% of the pupils asked – ‘felt comfortable’ using internet search engines, and a fifth of the 500 children express that ‘they have NEVER used a Dictionary’. Now, this to me, is a very scary thought, but it illustrates an extremely important message that times are changing.
Children are growing up in an environment in which digital technology is seen as the norm, and with this – children are becoming increasingly confident with using new technology.
Dr Pam Waddell – Director of Birmingham Science City explicates that “It’s not surprising that with answers at the touch of a button, Youngsters often Google questions before asking Parents or Teachers”
However, this isn’t a necessarily a bad thing… It shows that the children of our generation are developing alongside the advances in technology, it is something they feel comfortable dealing with. As teachers we need to respect this and start to consider how we can implement new technology within our lessons, to engage the children we teach.
The question we need to ask is; Will pupils be more motivated/engaged by ‘writing answers in an exercise book’ or by being ‘involved in interactive lessons using technology’?
I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter… 🙂