Thursday, February 3, 2011

Google thinkers

Ah the first time I read the "Is google making us stupid" was for my English writing test to get into U of M Dearborn. In my opinion Google, if used correctly, can actually help make us smarter. I mean think about it, 20 years ago when you wanted to find something out you had to go to the library, look it up in the catalog, then find it using the dewy decimal system and then read the book or article. Now you just turn on you computer, open Firefox or whatever web browser you use, go to Google and type in what you need to know. This also allows you to work at your own pace and not have to worry if someone else is going to get the book you need to research on.

Now there is also a way the Google can be bad. Like with Spider-Man, Google is a great power and with great power comes great responsibility. If you use Google to help you with school work that's fine. But this same power that can help many also hurts. People who don't use it wisely could just copy and paste a paper. With that threat Universities and Schools have had to use programs, which cost money, to proofread the papers for academic dishonesty. This webpage has a good article about "Cybercheating." With it being so close at hand it's often hard not to try and push the limits on how much you can take from an site and put into your own paper. I've found a great site that could help you check percentage of "Outside Info" your paper has.

I've discussed how Google can be good and bad for users. I believe that Google is good as long as you know how to use it. Don't abuse this wonderful place that collects a lot of information about the world in one place, after all isn't it nice to get what you need in one place?


  1. Interesting post. I love the Superhero placement, I know that I am always using Google just as you speak of. Engineers, once upon a time, used to carry lots of books. Those days are LONG gone.

  2. There are definitely issues with students copy/pasting from Google. I also think that a program that auto-checks a word document for online cybercheating would be fairly easy to make, and as such, these students will probably get caught fairly easily.

  3. Certainly Google has put a tremendous amount of information at our fingertips, and I use it regularly. But the new question it raises, is how do we know what is a credible or reliable source online? How do we determine what to believe as true?

    Photoshop, and a lack of credit to the creators of images and stories, has made this especially difficult. See this recent instance:

    Or rumors and lies about recent events in Egypt:

    So how do we sift through all this new information at our fingertips? Do we need to be even more critical consumers now?

  4. @ Jennifer,

    Wikipedia is a great resource, but as you said... it's can't always be trusted. There should be two sections of content on each Wikipedia page, the top one being the sources cited content.

    Journalists using overly altered photos is a big offense, it should be taken more seriously.

    We need to have a better balance of news sources and still allow social news sites Reddit to bring to light stories that might otherwise be overlooked. Digg made the mistake of trying to cut off the lower ranking members from making the main page and has seen massive failure since.

  5. @Jennifer
    I think the plethora of information Google puts at our finger tips definitely requires us to be more critical consumers. And though the effort required for that criticism runs counter to the efficiency of a Google search, in the end I think we will be much more informed on a particular subject then we would have been through traditional means. 

    On the other hand hand we could all just be ignorant and accept the first result as the gospel. This event isn't relegated to the online domain though, you could just as easily come across some blatant false truths between the stacks of dried ink in the local library.

  6. @Jennifer
    It's up to people to know that reading information they found on "insertrandomblogname".com may not be the most reliable. Heck, even if your political views differ, you may find that what you hear on Fox News or MSNBC is not true. Websites that have a history as a trusted news source are *typically* the ones that should be considered factual, not the latest post on google's news tab.

  7. I agree that Google can make us a bitter smarter. I believe the way that we learn to search for information can help us become more creative and productive. Keyword searching can actually help us develop critical thinking abilities. For instance, as we learn to mix words and phrases in more clever ways to get to our information, we learn to bridge gaps between ideas...or at least, make us work better at thinking about ideas together.

    Moreover, with having everything in our desktop can give us immediate access to information that was not possible before and not just information but more information, more opinions, and more ideas to help us in our daily lives. Speaking from experience, the internet has enabled me to learn about healthy cooking, how to clean my mattress, how to fix things, and so on. I've been able to learn a little about everything without having to acquire expertise or attending seminars.

    Lastly, it can also keep us for time-consuming tasks such as finding books at the library, and this can further add to our creativity productivity.

  8. Intersting Post! I agree, I think that google is very helpful for college students who are reasearching for class projects and what not. I remember when I was younger, going to research in the library was such a hassle. I didn't even have that much research back then, I can't imagine doing research for a project and not having google.