Navigating Google’s Classroom Takeover

Most modern classrooms use Google whether parents like it or not. Teachers use the web giant to e-mail parents and colleagues, and to search for lesson plans and teaching tips. Students turn to Google for answers and to YouTube for entertainment. And many schools, on lean budgets, take advantage of Google’s free tools and training resources. Google and YouTube are powerful tools. Like all tools, they have and benefits and drawbacks. We explore a few in this blog.

The Importance of Teaching Kids Responsible Googling

Google is best known for its search engine, so much so that to “Google”, or to look something up on Google, is a widely accepted verb. The search engine makes all kinds of information readily available 24/7. This wealth of information is not inherently bad. However, children and teenagers require training in responsible Googling, just as they are taught how to ride a bike, how to drive, and how to cook before being left alone with a bicycle, a car, or a gas stovetop.Googling is not a substitute for critical thinking. It’s a great first step in the research process, if we educate children in how to fact-check, verify sources, and think critically about the information that turns up on the first page. After all, Google doesn’t determine search engine ranking positions based on the accuracy of the information presented! Its complex algorithm weighs many factors, but has no way of identifying fake or inaccurate information.

How Teachers Use Google

Teachers, frustrated by the spread of fake news and false information, may discourage Googling.
However, they probably use Google themselves. Google offers many tools that educators can leverage to improve their classrooms, including:

● Gmail, Google’s powerful, free e-mail provider.
● Google Documents and Google Sheets, free substitutes for Microsoft Word and Excel
● Google Forms, which can be used to make surveys, quizzes, sign-up sheets and more
● YouTube, which has millions of educational videos readily available for use in and out of the
classroom
● Google Drive offers free storage for documents, with the option to share links and documents
with anyone, anywhere
● Google Maps: beyond getting from point A to point B, Google Maps has many views, including
breathtaking street views, to pique students’ interest in geography and culture
● Google Calendar: a free, flexible, cloud-based calendar for scheduling meetings with students,
parents, and peers

Contact Planting Seeds Tutoring

At Planting Seeds Tutoring, an Austin, South, and Central Texas-based tutoring company, we are
committed to supporting students learn in the digital age. We leverage Google to continuously educate ourselves about all topics related to education, tutoring, and children’s development. To learn more about the full range of services we offer, visit our blog, visit our newly revamped website and follow us on Facebook. You can also contact Planting Seeds Tutoring with your questions at (972) 342-6496, or via email at plantingseedstutoring@gmail.com