My favorite example comes from my son who is 15 years old. Driving through the city, my husband asked, “I wonder why …” Within seconds, our son had an answer. “How’d you know that?”
With his cute grin, he retorted, “I Googled it.”
Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Yet, how often have you done the same thing? Wondered about something and just pushed it aside without another thought.
My daughter, 14 years old, thought it would be interesting to write a novel based on science fiction. Then, she sadly discovered that she didn’t have enough science knowledge to follow through with her thought. Driving around completing errands, she used my iPhone and began her research. Soon, we were all talking about the human population and what it would take to colonize another planet. The conversation was intellectual. Fun. Inspiring. I learned so much from those few moments in the car with my teenagers.
A valuable habit is simply admitting when you don’t know an answer. Not only do I manage a website and write, but I also teach. I love my students -a group of high schoolers. (I have an affinity for teenagers. Probably because of my inability to grow up myself.) When a question is asked, I rarely give an answer, even if I know it. My favorite response is, “I wonder where we can find the answer to that question.” Almost in chorus, the response is, “Google.”
Why not just give them the answers? Because I subscribe to a teaching theory which aligns with the Chinese adage:
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
I learned recently about a website that mocks our access to technology, especially when we seemingly ‘forget’ to search for information. LMGTFY.com It is easy to remember. It is an acronym for ‘Let Me Google That For You.’
By Tracy Atkinson
Tracy Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education and a master’s in higher education. Her passion is researching, studying and investigating the attributes related to self-directed learners. She has published several titles, including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Lemosa: The Annals of the Hidden, Book Two, Rachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently working on a non-fiction text exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-directed Learners.