Education always wins


There’s been a story that’s been persistently appearing in my readings over the weekend.

Teens have trouble telling between Google ads and search links

My first reaction was “Just teens?”

My second reaction was to think back to a story or a message that someone had shared that indicated that students find what they’re searching for in the first 10 results of a Google search.  (as an aside, I really wish I could remember that source)

My third reaction was that perhaps that isn’t such a bad thing.  After all, if a company makes a product and thinks that it’s the best in the market, it will pay for results placement so that people can find them.

My four reaction was sort of related to that – if the product is that good, then people will be buzzing about the product and it should appear near the top in some form or other.

On the other hand, if this is for classroom research, the student isn’t necessarily interested in making a purchase.  They may be interested in just how things work.

I decided to give it a test here.

My topic?  Something that’s the buzz around this house anyway.  “Elf lights”  (Don’t ask … I lost)

So, I fired up my browser with, as you know from over the weekend, I have ad blocking enabled and got the following result.

I tried the search again with the ad blocking turned off.

There’s a huge difference in the search results.

Now, in Google’s defence, the advertising is clearly identified…if you know what you’re looking for.

So, what’s the answer for students and schools?

Well, I suppose that we could ensure that all advertising is blocked at the school gateway.  Or, perhaps install an advertising blocker on all school computers.

What good does that do though when the student whips out her/his phone and does a search or uses their computer at home or their BYOD device at school?

You’d be forever chasing your tail.

The answer, as in most things, is good teaching and understanding of digital literacies.  That starts with good teachers incorporating what’s important into the classroom.

As the title here says, Education always wins.  I see a wonderful bulletin board display.

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OTR Links 11/24/2015


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.