On Web Searches.
A short story based on a fictive true story that can happen to anyone.
“Does anybody know how to use Google?” – The teacher intriguingly asked his students.
“Yes, we do!” – The students answered in unison.
"Can you find anything in Google?" The teacher inquired.
“Yes, we can!”, “Sure” – The students answered.
“Would you help me find some information on Google?” - The teacher replied expecting his students to volunteer precipitously.
The students rushed to show the teacher how they use Google: “Yes, we can show you!” – Cried one of the students. “Of course!”, “Yes!”, “Sure”, - said a group of students.
Angel, a Digital Native, took control of the computer and typed “www.google.com” and accessed to the webpage. “When you enter the page, you type the name of what you want to look, hit enter, and then it appear the pages with the information.” – Said Angel arrogantly. Then he asked “what do you want to look, Mr. Mendoza?”
What Angel and rest of the students did not know was that Mr. Mendoza was a Tech Savvy, and was about to ask them to look for something that would not return any result.
“I want to know about Deibylandia? Where is the kingdom of Deibylandia?” - said Mr. Mendoza. “D – E – I – B – Y – L – A – N – D – I – A.” – he slowly spelled the word.
Angel typed the question “Deibylandia” into the search box, hit enter, but there were not any page about it. Then, he typed the word Deibylandia, and again, no pages for that word. After that, all the students gave up.
To search in Google, or any other search engine, is more than just typing in the search box a word or phrase, and work with the first results it shows (although this is pretty much the basics of web searching). Searching the web involves skills that will help us find better results to work with. And it also requires expertise; this is that we need to know how search engines work, and how to use searching tools, techniques and technology to make the most and best of our inquiries. Sure, the students in the short story were never to find anything about Deibylandia, but they gave up without trying other options. They just looked for something. They did not really search for it. Look for and search for are different things.
My reaction on copyright laws.
Although copyright laws can limit and/or affect my teaching practices, I am aware that they are important and necessary to protect original works from being misused, stolen, copied and distributed illegally (pirated). And breaking these laws is wrong and it is a punishable crime. If I really want to use someone’s copyrighted material in a class, I just need to ask permission. If this fails, I will continue searching the web until finding something suitable or I will create my own original material. Is there something teachers can't do?