Thursday, October 27

Wait a minute, let me Google it ...





Google has become a digital extension of my memory. The older I get the more I use it. If I forget how to do something, or cannot remember a fact or name or place, I Google around for a bit and find it.

For example, this morning I was on the phone talking with a client. We started talking about a film and neither one of us could remember the name, only that Al Pacino was in it. So I Googled "Al Pacino Filmography", and two clicks later, I 'knew' the name of the movie. Earlier in the week, I had moved all the livingroom furniture and, in the process, unhooked the VCR, DVD, and TV. When I went to plug in this Medusa's Head of wires, I could not for the life of me remember how the VCR fit back into the scheme of things.

Right. I Googled "Mitsubishi DVD VCR Connections" and three clicks later had the operating manual that was lost in the same place that socks go to in the washing machine.

What does this have to do with learning? Everything. It points to the fact that I do not need to know something, or know how to do something, and I can still know it and do it. My performance is acceptable. It's my memory that sucks. Google is my brain plugged into the internet, the largest repository of information ever created since they set fire to the the Library of Alexandria. Wait a minute, who was it who set that fire ... hold on a sec ... okay it was either
Julius Caesar or Caliph Omar . Yep, Googled.

So why are we spending untold amounts of time and money on learning programs that are not necessary? They could be effectively replaced by a computer on a fast WIFI connection to a knowledge repository. Does anyone assess what needs 'real learning' versus what only needs to be searched for, used, and then forgotten? This is one place where some technology, beyond the flipchart, can come to the rescue and save us from needless "training". And it would be just in time ...

Tony Carlson tells us that "We process more information in a 24-hour period, than the average person 500 years ago would come in contact with in a lifetime..." Are we part of the problem, or the solution?

Maybe I'll ask Google ... .

4 comments:

Bryan Menell said...

A Google interface to a big knowledge repository would be great. I've just never seen the knowledge repository. The one that is searchable, web services enabled, has it's content abstracted from it's interface layer, etc. Who creates it? Who maintains it?

Searching and indexing is not the hard part, the devil is in the details of the knowledge repository.

Harold Jarche said...

"Who creates it? Who maintains it?"

Bloggers do some of it ;-)

You can find a few of them here

Trace Urdan said...

I disagree with Bryan. The knowledge is captured in a million different documents and emails and with Google, nothing more complex than a common network server is required. Instead of the painful process of creating uniform and standardized content accessible only through some additional piece of software, the standard arsenal of Microsoft software functions as an LMS. I do this daily in referencing eight years of my own content with Google Desktop, which offers a thoroughness and speed that is light years ahead of any of the search functions within individual software programs.

Google certainly doesn't obviate the need for some content developed with sound principals of instructional design, but with Google, unlocking SME content is no longer some kind of impossible task and the very point behind LCMS software seems to evaporate.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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