How do we teach in an innovative world? What is our value as educators? It used to be that educators were the keepers and distributors of knowledge and information – that is no longer the case.

How do we reshape our ideas of learning and what is important to learn when the world’s information is at our fingertips?

While attending the Google Innovation Academy, I really enjoyed listening to Dan Russell speak on this very topic.

Dan emphasized the importance of informacy, the ability to know how to use literacy technologies. Not only do we need to know how to read and write, we need to know how to make sense of the wealth of information we find on the internet. Can we navigate it effectively? Can we think critically about it? Can we make connections and create new understanding? Can we ask and answer “impossible” questions?

Are we reading a PDF file line by line to find the information we need or do we know how to use CTRL+F (or command+F on macs). Understanding CTRL+F allows us to interact with text fundamentally differently. Dan told us a stat from research that absolutely floored me – 90.5% of US internet users do now know how to use CTRL+F and 51.1% of teachers do not know how!

What else might we not know we don’t know?

Do you know how to Google? Really effectively?

Do you know how to tell truth from hoax? How many of us know people who share false information on facebook? Or are you the person posting the link to try to stop the madness?

Are we teaching our students this informational literacy? I came to my own realization that I have been taking these skills for granted and that I could be doing more to ensure my students develop informacy and metaliteracy.

Once we are fluent in the strategies to manipulate the world’s information effectively, how does that change what we consider important to memorize or “know”? How does this change how we spark students’ curiosity and ask questions?

Be sure to check out A Google A Day for some great practice in informacy or Power Searching With Google to expand your search skills.


This is my second post about my experience at the Google Innovation Academy as part of becoming a Google Certified Innovator. Be sure to also check out part 1.


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