Exactly What We Want

A couple of weeks ago, my students were doing research on different types of animals.  One student came up, chuckling, to show me his computer screen.  I stood there, staring at it for almost a full minute, before I realized what he was laughing at.  Once I got it, he eagerly took it around to the other students … who slowly realized the issue.

Here’s a screenshot of what they saw …
Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission
Can you see it yet?  If not, look carefully at the picture and then the search terms.  
The student had been looking for the definition of a reptile and up popped a picture of a frog … an amphibian.  
The thing is, this is exactly what we want.  We want students that can identify when something is wrong.  Students that can see the internet as a tool, not the source of all knowledge.  Students that can be interested in the mistakes they see out in the world and help figure out a way to correct them.  
For my students, I had every intention of using this as a great lesson.  When I got home, I quickly took the above screenshot and then provided feedback to Google about the error (which if you’ve never done it, it’s really easy).  I figured each class could submit their own feedback throughout the day, which I hoped would be enough evidence for Google to switch out the image.However, I completely underestimated the power of Google.  Less than twelve hours later, the image was fixed.   We worked through the process anyway, which has catapulted them into a mission of mistake-finding since then.  We’ve found errors in educational software, online textbooks, labs I’ve created, journal articles, educational videos and a wall quote that I put up at the start of second semester … just to name a few. 

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