Unfortunately - for my blood pressure - I came across an article the other day called "Do Your Students Know How To Search?" from a website called Edudemic and it was written by Holly Clark who is also on Twitter as @hollyedtechdiva. She's referring to some points that the esteemed Helene Blowers makes about a new digital divide. I take two quotes from her article: "There is a new digital divide on the horizon" and "Helene Blowers has come up with seven ideas about the new digital divide".
I read the article with interest - there was a fair amount of information about how to search Google, which is all well and good. We should be teaching "phrase searching", how to -exclude from a search and a few others. Nothing wrong with that of course, but what it doesn't say is what interests me rather more. Such as 'what about other search engines?' If you want to teach people about filter bubbles, primary sources and country searching, how about teaching them about it properly, which means - y'know - talking about search engines that do the whole thing rather BETTER than Google? How about talking about validation and authority? Comparing the relative merits of Google and other search engines? Pulling up examples of search engines that focus on the news, or on social media? Because, Ms Clark THAT is what teaching students how to search is all about. It's not about rehashing basic Google concepts (important though they are) it's a far bigger and more complex process than that.
Ask anyone who teaches search - and in fact you dear reader, may well be one of them - and you'll know that a quick overview of a couple of basic Google commands is about as much use to students as a chocolate teapot. Probably less, actually, since they could eat the chocolate!
However - and this is where it gets really amusing - if you cast your minds back to the two quotes that I used - there is a very clear emphasis this is something new. In actual fact, this digital divide is something that Ms Blowers was writing about back in 2010. Yup - 3 years old, Ms Clark - three years old. How about this for an idea - how about teaching students how to evaluate content, and check it for currency? This is just an embarassment.