With Great Power…

High School had a LOT of assignments that I perceived as busy work. What was my solution to busy work? Google! Another worksheet with information I have to fill in from the textbook? Google! In Calculus, I would ask the almighty Google for answers and it delivered. This is great! Homework is a breeze, a nice stroll in the park, no worries here! AP Euro had a lot of reading to do. Why would I read through all that when I can just take a quick detour down convenience lane and save the rest of my evening? But although classes seemed sunny, carefree, and easy, I didn’t realize I was living a LIE. Dark clouds were on the horizon.

Exam time. Having some slight difficulties…Where is your Google GOD now? Your savior has forsaken you! I had made a mistake that I am sure everyone has made at some point in their academic career. Filling in homework worksheets with Google is not learning. I was not learning how to find the derivative of a line when I googled every equation in my math homework. I was not learning the intricacies of European History when I googled brief definitions of names and terms to fill in on my homework packet.screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-5-28-54-pm

Learning the Process>Google the Answer…but it takes longer:(

Learning is a process. Most people need time to let information stew in their brains. Time to reflect on information and process is just as important as the contact time with material in class: homework helps achieve this reflection and processing. But the main point here: from my experience, it is human nature to seek the path of least resistance. The ‘easiest’ path is usually the path taken, even if it is a path that leads to inevitable problems (problems we may not foresee). I looked up answers to homework to save time in the present, even though I would need to understand the material to do well on exams in the future. My thoughts on this matter stem from Carr’s discussion on the Van Nimwegen study on page 214. The lack of a hand-holder for the barebones group was actually beneficial: sure, it was less taxing on the screen assisted group. They had less mental gymnastics to do. But the bare-bones group was the winner in the end, using “‘more focus, more direct an economical solutions, better strategies, and better imprinting of knowledge’” (Carr 215).

The point I want to make is that Google is a wonderful tool to aid in learning. If I wanted to learn anything at all right now, I’m sure I could Google it and be on my way. But like most tools, it can be seriously misused. In spoon feeding so much information at such a rapid pace, the process of learning is at risk. I must be vigilant in observing how my use of Google and other technology impacts my learning. Google should be used as an asset to learning, not as a crutch for homework. With great power… comes great responsibility!

Author: Graham C

Student at the University of Delaware writing to be the best I can be!

3 thoughts on “With Great Power…”

  1. I really love your last paragraph and agree with it tremendously. Google isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can be if you use it as an escape from actually having real knowledge. I have definitely been in the situation where I used Google to finish an assignment quickly and then had no idea how to actually do the work later on. However, I do feel like the idea of having students memorize a bunch of things and then regurgitate it on a test is almost archaic. Sometimes in life we will need to have skills memorized, but when we go on to jobs Google and other platforms will be there for all of our needs.

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  2. I enjoyed the comical nature throughout your post and how relatable it is. I am sure almost everyone uses Google as the go-to when in search of an answer. The last paragraph hit the hardest to me because you pointed out that it isn’t necessarily Google that’s at fault, but the way in which we use it. Maybe if we re-read articles or only looked up specific things at a time we would be able to retain the knowledge we find online a little better.

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  3. I am glad that this was a relatable piece. That was a large part of my goal, since we are usually writing these with classmates as our audience. I think it is more valuable for everyone if we write relatable personal pieces rather than overly abstract/theoretical prose. Both have value I’m sure, but as we are briefly looking over our pieces it makes the process much nicer to go through.

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