According to the New York Times, the massive adoption of Google and its Chromebooks in U.S. classrooms (accounting for more than half the mobile devices shipped to schools) is signaling a “profound shift in American education;” and they’re calling it the “Googlification of the classroom.” But is Googlifiction spurring a much bigger shift in today’s K-12 classrooms than simply switching devices?
Though the low-cost of Chromebooks, free apps offered, and marketing to teacher and admin rather than high-level district officials are all reasons why Google is in almost every classroom today, one of the most massive underlying reasons for the tremendous adoption rate is a fundamental shift in how students are learning: from test-specific memorization of facts to harnessing online tools for problem-solving, collaborative learning.
In essence, the use of Google in the classroom is true Googlification, or modeling learning off of Google’s own employee skillset, in that the use of Google and Chromebooks in the classroom aims to turn today’s students into creative and collaborative problem-solvers that know how to intuitively harness online and in-hand technologies.
“Google is helping to drive a philosophical change in public education—prioritizing training children in skills like teamwork and problem-solving while de-emphasizing the teaching of traditional academic knowledge, like math formulas,” writes the New York Times. “It puts Google, and the tech economy, at the center of one of the great debates that has raged in American education for more than a century: whether the purpose of public schools is to turn out knowledgeable citizens or skilled workers.”
The article also argues that Google may have a larger, more consumer-based motive for targeting education: get students hooked on Google products and they’ll be consumers for life. It also emphasizes that use of student data is quickly becoming a thorny issue among parents and school officials.
Read more about Chromebooks and the Googlification of the classroom in the New York Times article here: “How Google took over the classroom.”
Read more about Chromebook adoption here: “Incredible: Growth of this technology crushes Apple, Microsoft in K-12 classrooms.”
Read about Microsoft’s new education endeavor here: “Breaking: Microsoft just made its biggest education investment in history.”
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