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Advent of Google means we must rethink our approach to education

By staff and wire services reports
November 11th, 2013

The Guardian reports: Would a person with good handwriting, spelling and grammar and instant recall of multiplication tables be considered a better candidate for a job than, say, one who knows how to configure a peer-to-peer network of devices, set up an organisation-wide Google calendar and find out where the most reliable sources of venture capital are, I wonder? The former set of skills are taught in schools, the latter are not. We have a romantic attachment to skills from the past. Longhand multiplication of numbers using paper and pencil is considered a worthy intellectual achievement. Using a mobile phone to multiply is not. But to the people who invented it, longhand multiplication was just a convenient technology. I don’t think they attached any other emotions to it. We do, and it is still taught as a celebration of the human intellect. The algorithms that make Google possible are not taught to children. Instead, they are told: “Google is full of junk.”

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staff and wire services reports