When’s the last time you did the hoovering? The fact that using a vacuum cleaner is referred to as ‘hoovering’ is one of the greatest marketing coups of the twentieth century, it’s not ‘vacuuming’, it’s hoovering. ‘Get the hoover out!’ you might catch yourself saying, even as you pull a Dyson or a Henry (other makes are available) out of the cupboard.
‘Googling’ has gone the same way, and has actually gone to reinforce Google’s dominant position in the UK web-search market to such a degree that we often (if not always) don’t even consider which search engine we’re using, instead just tapping away to see what comes up…
But when it comes to ensuring your students get reliable, critical information that is fundamental to their studies – leaving students to ‘google it’ is ultimately letting them down. Why is this the case?
The Great Google Game
You might have heard of something called search engine optimisation, also known as SEO. SEO is a series of principles and technical methods for websites to compete on Google (and other search engines) in order to appear on the first page of results for commonly searched-for terms. While making sure that online content is useful to readers is part of SEO, other aspects are more into website architecture, use of language, and other methods. Google itself is managed by a form of artificial intelligence which scans websites and ‘ranks’ them accordingly to specific terms. As sites jostle for position, their primary motivation is remaining high on search result rankings, not ensuring their content is accurate or useful to your students. This isn’t to say that websites are being dishonest in any way, merely that the intense competition inherent in SEO places the impetus for websites to remain current and relevant to Google’s trends.
Enter the Academic Planner
Reference sections in personalised student planners contain information that is both highly important, as well as static. Multiplication tables, principles of grammar, even term-times and school contact information!
Bespoke student planners contain reference sections that keep you in control. This allows schools and colleges to ensure quality information included in a planner always trumps uncited and dubious information that students might find on the internet – making sure that your students stay on the right track when it comes to fundamental pieces of information.
Google has allowed all of us to be more connected to information sourced from all over the world; and while it’s great that students can access it cheaply and easily – we all need to make sure that the accuracy of key information doesn’t get diluted in the process.