Monday, April 1, 2013

The Problem with Content

I think that there may be a misperception out there among the general public that Google has the answer to everything. The paradox seems to be that there still exists a misperception out there by many parents that education doesn't need to change even though we have Google.

Google has become, by far, one of the most valuable resources mankind has ever experienced. It is probably the most often used tool on the Internet and there is some evidence that it is effecting the way our brain works which would undoubtably effect the way we learn.

Herein lies the problem with content. Google is a wilderness.  A jungle of information that is vast and seemingly infinite.  Ask your self this question: When was the last time you did a search on Google and found only one page of results?  

There are vast reaches of information out there in this wild place and we can quickly search for anything we want. Period. Unpackaged. Raw. Potentially healthy or poisonous. Wrong or right. Complete and incomplete.

The Problem With Content.
In our education system, prior to the last decade, we relied on carefully curated content housed in scrolls, books, libraries, or schools.  There was a great need to memorize correct content because we didn't always have access to those things. If we needed that information we had it, in our brain, as long as we were a good learner and followed the process of learning and memorizing.

Google has taken away the book covers, the walls, the shelves.

Schools are now faced with the new dilemma of ensuring our children are consuming quality content, not just any content.  They are faced with the need for carefully curated content that is accurate and what is needed when the learner needs it. There is a mad dash by the educational industrial complex to organize content into the one place.

By providing the access to quality content, schools feel safer in ensuring their students have access to the correct material, at least until they leave school and use whatever they think gets them the best result.

To me, this is one of the many unique challenges facing education today - the push and pull between un-curated and curated content.  Are we developing the skills needed for our graduates to know how to be good curators?

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