You Don't Know Google Like I Know Google

In a move that reflects the increasing popularity of large open online courses, the company is offering free lessons...on how to use Google.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

Hoping to clue more people in on its all-knowing all-seeing wizardry, Google is offering a free online course on how to take advantage of its many search features. Registration opened today, and the first class begins September 24. According to the New York Times Bits blog, "There are three classes a week for two weeks, each a 50-minute video plus quizzes. Students can watch the videos anytime, but if they watch them at class time, they can participate in forums with other students and teaching assistants." Registered participants will get a certificate of completion upon finishing.

What's the Big Idea?

The first time Google offered this course, in July, thousands of people signed up and improved their search skills by an average of 40 percent, according to before-and-after assessments. Those students represented a range of ages, Internet experience, and locations. Dan Russell, whose Google job title really is "lead for search quality and user happiness," says that most people only use what's necessary to get the job done, but "[t]here's all kinds of stuff there, [and] man, when I show it to you, you got power."

Photo Credit:

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Increased air travel may decrease the chances of a global pandemic

The closer together we get, the argument goes, the healthier we'll be.

Surprising Science
  • The more exposed we are to each other, the less surprising a pathogen will be to our bodies.
  • Terrorism, high blood pressure, and staffing issues threaten to derail progress.
  • Pursuing global health has to be an active choice.
Keep reading Show less