Is Google making our memory weaker??

In my digital competence class a few weeks ago, we discussed whether or not our access to digital tools is making our memory weaker. In todays digital world it can be argued that there is simply no need for us anymore to remember facts, numbers, contact information or important dates, because our smart phone or Google can tell us in no time. It has also become a habit of many of us to just take a picture or a screen shot of something we need to remember instead of writing it down! Does this sound familiar to you?

I believe that when we take pictures, or trust Google to find the information, we are simply telling our brain that there is no need to remember, because we have stored it elsewhere.  But is this making out memory weaker? Or are we just using our “storage-space” in a different way?

A challenge is also that many students believe that Google has all the answers, and that they are all correct! Hey, chances are that us teachers even Googled the last piece of information we were looking for (though hopefully with a more critical eye).

Some therefore argue that Google is changing the way we think and remember. But how does this happen? And how can Google really impact our brain? Check out the infographic  from www.onlinecolleges.net below to learn more!

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4 thoughts on “Is Google making our memory weaker??

  1. This is a very interesting discussion. Since we can at any time access loads and heaps of information, I would argue that critical thinking linked to digital competence is as important as ever. Students need training in assessing sources in order to determine correct from incorrect information. An analogy just crossed my mind in terms of memory and inactivity: maybe it’s possible to see Google as an extension of memory, just like the microscope is an extension of the visual sense? Still, I wish someone forced me to cram some more telephone numbers in case an emergency or a shutdown of the yellow pages app (!).

  2. I like the idea of an «empty head». Haha! But what will an empty head understand? And is information – that we really need – more accessible now?

  3. Yes, it’s kind of ironic, isn’t it? By using communicative approaches to learning we are regressing into the behaviourist concept of a tabula rasa («clean slate») 😀

  4. A interesting book that I stumbled upon a couple of years ago is «Why do I need a Teacher When I’ve got Google?». It addresses a number of topics regarding this blog post, but the essential message of the book is for teachers to reflect on whether they are spending their time teaching their students or helping them learn. Worth reading! http://www.amazon.com/Why-Need-Teacher-When-Google/dp/0415468337

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