Fighting the GOOGLE Syndrome

Today, kids are bombarded with information that is fleeting. They search for and engage with articles online superficially and often tend to use their first search results to complete learning tasks. (especially in junior years)

They often find information and use that information in their answers, despite not really understanding the information they gathered, the meaning of subject specific words in the text are ignored and that decreases the deeper meaning of their answers.

Often I find that when I do demonstrations, many students say things like:

‘ I saw that on YouTube’

‘I know what is going to happen’


….. and they have and do!

They can state what happens because they have seen it before, however, when asked to explain what or why it is happening, they fall silent.


How students respond to new / unseen challenges…

This experience is becoming more frequent as the years ‘tick by’, with emphasis being placed on knowing the end product but having little to no idea of the process or why it is occurring. This growing trend is a concern when they encounter harder concepts or problem solving situations because:

  1. They try and Google an answer, rather than find it out first hand via experimentation.
  2. They say it is too hard and give up. (reduced risk taking)
  3. They frequently don’t engage in a task as they of a fear of ‘failure’.


Poster: 7 questions to ask BEFORE you say ‘I’m Done’

To counteract these trends, I have designed a poster asks the students 7 questions to ask BEFORE they say ‘I’m Done’

The poster tries to get students to:

  • Reflectively assess their work
  • Question if they have done their BEST work
  • Push further by selecting key words they may have ignored before
  • Create questions about the material they have done.


This hopefully shows the students that scientists constantly review their work and make improvements. Authors do it, performers do it, athletes do it so why shouldn’t students do it?


Reviewing your work and making it better is something top level students do frequently. We want to fight the Australian stereotype of ” That will Do” and promote deeper learning.

To emphasize this low level work quality acceptance, I provide the students with a situational question, “would you like to hear a pilot say?”¬† “Yeah, that will do” when they are trying to land a commercial jet they are on in a cross wind?……….. No! You hopefully want them to double check all their calculations¬†before landing.


Having HIGH expectations is the first “key to success”. This year I will be challenging students to improve in many areas such as:

  • goal setting (high expectations)
  • rethinking and challenging their Mindsets on learning
  • constant reflection on their progress, making modifications to improve
  • explore multiple ways of learning, studying curriculum content

I will be making future posts on this and how society and our kids accept professional athletes having to work hard, have structured training routines, analyse their performance constantly with coaches, aim for National or World record times etc in their performances, BUT when it comes to learning, many students fall into the ‘that will do attitude’,¬† ‘too hard’ or ‘I can’t do it’ baskets.


Until next post, keep persevering to improve at all things. Your child is capable of miraculous things, they only need to believe in themselves, aim high and work hard.

Yours in learning,

Mr Darin Carr

About Mr Carr

Science / Chemistry / Physics Teacher "ALWAYS strive to improve in ALL things!"

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