Is Googling Cheating?

Every morning, I listen to a radio station as I’m getting ready for work. This particular station plays a trivia game every morning. They ask a really obscure question, play a song, and then take a caller to try to guess the answer.

No one ever gets the trivia questions wrong.

This morning, after a particularly challenging question, the host asked the caller, “Did you know that off the top of your head?”. The caller laughed and said, “No! I Googled it”.

I had a discussion online with other educators recently who were discussing assessment and entertaining the thought of allowing devices during assessments. One reaction was that we shouldn’t allow devices during assessments because students could Google the answers.

My reaction? Let them Google!

Should school really be about memorizing facts and trivia? Is it not an important skill in and of itself to be able to find, evaluate and apply the vast amount of information available at our fingertips? I don’t see Googling as cheating, but as resourcefulness.

And of the idea that by not requiring students to memorize facts means that they won’t learn them? I hypothesize that using and applying information in meaningful ways leads to deeper learning and remembering than cramming for a test.

 

 

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