What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Search Engines replace Teachers and Parents

March 13, 2012, 10:19 AM
Kidslaptop

A survey for Birmingham Science City amongst 500 15 year-olds across the UK came up with some pretty telling numbers about how technology changes society at its roots.

When asked whom they ask when a particular question occurs 54% of students answered Google or other search engines. Only 26% would ask their parents and only 3% their teacher. One in ten surveyed students even answered they would never go to their teacher with a question.

Other numbers include the decline in usage of printed encyclopedias and dictionaries and the rise in usage of new devices such as iPads and ebook readers.

If we take a closer look at the parent and teacher numbers again we also learn that 34% of the students don’t think that their parents could actually help them with their homework and 14% even think that their parents are not intelligent.

Unfortunately, the survey did not seem to ask for the reasons why students don’t ask their teachers when they have a question, though I think this could be related to the recent Robots @ School survey which showed that students feel intimidated by their teachers and prefer someone who learns along with them explaining problems patiently and at their own pace.

It seems, in order to remain “relevant” parents and teachers need to get ahead of the curve and defend their place in society as the ones who simply know more or better. These are probably problems of a transition phase in which big parts of society are currently still hesitant to go all in with digital technology, the social web etc. - children and teenagers however clearly seem to not have these issues.

But if parents and teachers prefer to stay at the sidelines and hope they can ignore the trend, it might erode the education system and society itself from the inside. If students believe that search engines and Wikipedia are smarter than the people close to them, the question is what is the basis for respect?

Believing that your parents and teachers know more / better than you is a big part why children accept their guidance. If children think they are at best as smart as they are themselves or even believe that their parents are not intelligent at all, what social contract can replace that foundation?

Photo: Portrait of smart Schoolgirls via Shutterstock

 

Search Engines replace Teac...

Newsletter: Share: