Just a silly question

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How come we have this wonderful thing called the internet and resources such as Google, etc, and people still ask us to do their searches for them??
I understand that practically all of these are relatively recent phenomena (within the past 10yrs or so), but are students taught and expected to know how to use these sources for themselves in any course(s) in high school today? I'd really be interested to know. I see so many responding to us as though this it's the first time anyone's suggested they put something into the Google search window...wow! -what an idea! I'd never thought about that before!... Isn't there a course that teaches how to use media resources or something along those lines?
Oh well...I can remember the days when we had to go to something called a card catalogue (if you don't know what this is, try googling it), write something down -hopefully it was legible- walk at least one flight of stairs (occasionally two) and physically check a book, and HOPE! it was what we were looking for. If not, we'd have to repeat all these steps again. I see that the main advantage of that method is that we got more exercise than merely clacking at a keyboard.
Just my $.02 here. I'm not whining, but certainly puzzled.

Roger, I just wrote a three page response to your observation, then erased the response because I thought it said some things which were better left unsaid. Later.

LOL! 3 pages!? I actually shortened my original post too. I don't think it was quite that long though. I'm really interested to know if high school courses are incorporating the internet into their courses now. I guess that's what I was really after. I'm amazed to see how much research is available anytime I google something, which is nearly everday now. I can see a real need to teach googling and separating reliable sources from questionable ones. I just don't understand students getting annoyed simply because we won't provide a link and actually expect them to type -Imagine that! We want them to type something!?- into google. Oh well, I see I'm editing now too, so maybe I'd better leave some things unsaid too...

You can get my email address from Bob Pursley or Writeacher.

I guess what I'm also wondering is why we don't just have a permanent link to google on the site with a search box. I think it's possible to use their search engine without leaving Jiskha.
I don't mind helping when I see where they can have difficulties, but typing shouldn't be one of those things.

Sometimes the searches on Google do not produce the necessary answers. Students often have difficulty performing very detailed searches. I do agree that some questions are asked simply because of laziness.

For sure. Laziness is often (but not always) at the bottom of some students' questions!

I have copied and pasted some responses I've made to repeated and repeated and repeated questions/processes, one of which is a how-to-search set of directions. Just in case the student doesn't know how to search or doesn't search with effective search terms or simply doesn't search, the file seems to work. And if the same student posts different questions requiring rather simple searches, perhaps (but I'm not counting on it) they'll get the idea.

As to high schools and what is and isn't being taught ... good luck! Most of the kids are more tech-savvy than some of the teachers! That's changing, of course, but slowly. There's also the matter of the "god testing" -- the be-all and end-all for education -- drives teachers nuts and takes up a WHOLE lot of class time.

Here's the saved file I use regarding how to search; feel free to use it if you wish or make up your own:

It looks as if what you need to do is learn how to conduct thorough and effective searches for yourself. That's what research is, and I'm sure that's what your teacher expects you to do -- conduct research. You are searching for information that is so specific you have to be prepared for the possibility that none of it may be online. Or some may be, and some may not. In addition to searching on the Internet, you also need to make best friends with the reference librarian(s) in your local or college library.

At this webpage, you can go immediately to the search sites (first three columns across the top) -- or even better you can scroll down until you see the section called HOW TO SEARCH THE INTERNET. Those are the links to start with. You'll not only learn how to come up with good search terms, but also how to evaluate the webpages you get as results. Some will be good and others will be garbage. You need to know how to tell the difference.

My favorite way to search is to go to Google's advanced search page < http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en > and put my search words or phrases into the first or second search box (either "all the words" or "exact phrase"). However, there many other strategies for searching you can use, and the HOW TO SEARCH THE INTERNET section will help you best.

I'm posting this message to you in this spirit: If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day; if you teach a man to fish, he will eat for his lifetime.



Thanks for your insight Writeteacher. I'd noticed that you'd given a standard response on several occasions and suspected you had some type of form letter response prepared. I'll probably continue to use my 'form letter' approach though:just ignore most questions that request reaearch.
I'm surprised at how fast things are changing too. I'm sure eventually students will be expected to know how to use the internet effectively for their assignments, but like all things, it's just a matter of time.

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