Change at the pace of Google

Google anncouned Google Instant today…or was that yesterday….today to me, yesterday to you? Anyway, sometime in the past 48 hours Google launched their new search engine.

Some people have been asking does this change mean anything to educators and education?

The answer is: Absolutly!

Google Instant

It changes the way we teach search. When teaching search skills to 2nd graders (You do teach search skills to your 2nd graders right?) I always use the word dolphin for a couple of reasons.

1. It’s a safe search

2. It returns millions of hits

3. You’ll get search results for both the football team and the animal

But now that’s all changed. Above you’ll see what I get now when I search for Dolphins with Google Instant. Student now have instant feedback as they type and can then correct or continue typing and narrow down their search.My search will be narrowed down to exactly what I want before I even actualy hit the search button.

I think it’s a positive change as basically we’ve just done away with a lot of search syntax we use to have to teach kids and can now search….literally…in real time.

Why is this such a big deal for Google?

Eric Schmidt the CEO of Google made this statement at a tech conference on August 4th:

Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until  2003, according to Schmidt. That’s something like five exabytes of data, he says.

Let me repeat that: we create as much information in two days now as we did from the dawn of man through 2003.


(BTW…using Google Instant it took me 5 words to find this exact quote)

If you run a company who is trying to organize and return results to all this informaiton then you need a way to deliever that information instantly to your customers…..aka…searchers.

It’s going to take us a while to wrap our heads around this new feature, but the more I search with it the more I’m finding it very powerful and returning the exact search results I’m looking for.

  • We need to rethink how we teach search skills to kids
  • We need to reteach search skills to kids
  • We need to teach kids to search

Just another reason why the skill of learning, unlearning, and relearning is so important in this fast pace digital world.

5 Comments

  1. Anybody ever tell you that you’d make a fine librarian. Great post.

    Doug

    • Really! You’re the first to ever tell me that…thanks Doug! :)

      I might have a second career after all!

  2. I just saw this search engine yesterday! It’s awesome, you don’t even have to push the search button to see what’s going to pop up! I really like this change.

  3. Searching most definitely has taken on a new and exciting face. Thank you for the dolphin topic. It’s often surprising the information that appears with what we would think of as safe topics.

  4. I have been a ChaCha Guide for a little while and their search tool has always been instant like this, ever since I joined with them. If you are familiar with the ChaCha application, you may understand that Guides are searching for information that they may have never heard of, as quickly as they can find it, to provide it to the person who asked the question.

    Yes, this much faster, but as you also mentioned, it helps to find the correct words to use in a search when you aren’t even sure of what words you need to search for.

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