Why Teach it When You Can Just GOOGLE it?!?

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth learning can be taught.” 
— Oscar Wilde

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In this week’s debate in my EdTech ECI830 class, the topic was about whether schools should continue to teach information that could be Googled.  While both groups brought to light the importance of a teacher to guide thinking, I think that there was great support for a shift in how education in Canada is delivered. We need to change traditional learning, of the teacher being the knowledge keepers, to teachers being more of a facilitator of learning. More practical skills to build the knowledge. More meaningful learning…more meaningful from the students perspective and not being told the information is meaningful. Sounds easy right?

There were so many great learning moments for me in this week’s #eci830 class that made me stop, think, reflect and rethink critically.

I found one of this week’s readings, ‘The Objective of Education is Learning, Not teaching‘ very interesting and profound to what we were talking about in class.  Traditional education focuses on teaching, not learning…..The article states,“It incorrectly assumes that for every ounce of teaching there is an ounce of learning by those who are taught. However, most of what we learn before, during, and after attending schools is learned without its being taught to us. A child learns such fundamental things as how to walk, talk, eat, dress, and so on without being taught these things. Adults learn most of what they use at work or at leisure while at work or leisure. Most of what is taught in classroom settings is forgotten, and much or what is remembered is irrelevant.”

This paragraph makes total sense to me. This is what learning is and this is how learning is happening. It leaves me to think, why is our school system not shifting in how education in Canada is delivered? or maybe it has and we are not giving it enough credit?!?

Image result for critical thinking nursingI think that teachers are evolving from a “keepers of knowledge” as Shelly discussed in class this week to more of a “facilitator of knowledge”.  Being a nursing education instructor, this is primarily what we do. We facilitate adult learning. We can not possible teach nursing students everything they need to know about everything. Critical thinking is a process that lets your brain do more for you as you make decisions and solve problems. This is nursing! Our students need to be resources and know where to find the information and to think critically. This application results in higher quality and faster problem solving, decision making and innovation. Clinical skills in nursing are obviously important, but critical thinking is at the core of being a good nurse. The nursing process is way in which we as nurses try to thinking and give care. The nursing process is a scientific method used by nurses to ensure the quality of patient care. This approach can be broken down into five separate steps.

Google has a vast amount information, which is the composition of millions and millions of experts and “so-called experts”. In nursing we are continuously teaching what resources are reliable, creditable, evidence based best practices and research driven. The article posted this week called, “Teaching Students Better Online Research Skills” reinforces this importance. All of this information can be found online for our students to access. However, this does not make us, as nursing educators, indispensable. Our role as educators needs to continue to evolve to empower and guide students to use the information at their fingertips in a professional, accountable, positive manner to build and enhance current knowledge.

I came across Shelly’s blog this week. Within her blog I read the article she posted about called, “The Changing Roles of Teachers: What Research Indicates. Part I of II.” This article really resonated and made me reflect as a nursing educator and how I am helping prepare nursing students for the 21 century. This article spoke about the “aim of 21st century teaching as the development of knowledge, higher-order skills (such as the 4Cs of creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration), and character, as well as the establishment of lifelong learning habits and an ability to learn how-to-learn with technology as the central roles in the new picture of teacher effectiveness.” Moreover, Partnership for 21st Century Learning, stated that the role of teachers is changing to be:1) a planner for 21st century careers, 2) an instructor for different ways of learning, 3) a technology designer for learning. It is becoming imperative to integrate the teaching of information literacy and technology skills into to regular curriculum (Chu, Tse, & Chow, 2011). Such skills are essential for effective functioning in today’s knowledge society. Effective integration of technology into the classroom depends on teachers who have the knowledge of how to use technology to meet instructional goals.

Overall, I think both sides of the debate made many convincing points that really got me thinking about the potential for changing our mindset around what and how I teach in nursing education.  As many have said within their blog posts as well as during the debate, times are changing and the skills that children, young adults and adult learners need moving forward are not the same as the ones they needed when we were starting their education. How can we make sure everyone is playing their part in this? Teachers do NOT have to do this alone. From the points of the agree side- they mentioned several times that things are moving at a ever changing speed. We are educators need to keep up and show students how to access this important information so they can keep up moving forward.

So what I am saying is, I think “googling it” helps me teach and aids my students growth and learning. At the end of the day, we want our students to “learn”. However that looks. I believe technology, google and online tools are strengthening education as well as nursing education and are preparing students for this fast paced, ever growing “real world”.

In closing, Alec said something that really suck with me this week and I believe is key and pulls this debate topic together for me, you can do it right both ways, you just have to use it RIGHT… but you have to do it well.”

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