This Teacher’s Day, we’re paying tribute to the universal teacher, the go-to source for answers to almost any question you have.

Matha Pitha Google Deivam How the search giant has become a teacher to the worldGoogle Doodle on Teacher's Day
Features Technology/Education Monday, September 05, 2016 - 15:57

It’s Teachers’ Day again and we’re all talking about those favourite educators who opened our eyes to the world of knowledge. But, while our teachers are still just as important within classrooms, millennials have options that previous generations never did thanks to the Internet and Google.

This Teacher’s Day, we’re paying tribute to the universal teacher, the go-to source for answers to just about any question you can conceive about any subject under the sun. Relationship troubles? Google has advice, tips and counseling options. Don’t know how to talk to your kid about sex-ed? Google will tell you what to say and how. Want to learn a new language? Google translate to the rescue! From students to tourists to high-level employees to even your grandparents, Google has something for everyone.

From recipes to sex advice to do-it-yourself projects, Google is a teacher that provides it all. Here are five cool ways in which Google has revolutionized learning:

1. Micro-learning: With ever-shortening attention spans and a stagnant education system that still conforms to the rote-learning norm, learning modules in short information bursts fills the gap.

Not only does micro-learning fit the bill of a productive pastime while you’re waiting for something else, but the data provided in small sizeable chunks ensures that you retain it.

While there are many micro-learning apps on the market, Google came up with its own micro-learning app – Primer – which provides micro-learning for digital marketing. And what’s better than bite-sized marketing lessons from the company whose marketing skills are on point?

2. Maps: People say traveling is the best form of education. But while backpacking is romantic, most of us don’t have the time or money to ditch our lives at the drop of a hat and embark on adventures. With Google Maps, however, seeing faraway places has never been simpler.

With features like Street View, Google took armchair travel to another level. You can basically sit in front of a screen and take a tour of Barcelona’s streets and Rome’s Colosseum. And according to Hannah Francis’ article in The Sydney Morning Herald, armchair tourism can apparently help conserve environments and culture and even create awareness about “geographical heritage”.     

In 2014 for instance, Australia’s National Marks were mapped on Google’s street view system to allow people to explore these reserves with just the click of a button.

3. Google Expeditions: What’s better than learning a lesson about the Great Wall of China? Actually experiencing it in the comfort of your classroom. Google Expeditions, as a video about it says, brings the lesson to you through a 3D immersive experience. Watch this video to understand how it works.

Using the up and coming technology of virtual reality, Google’s Education division developed Google Cardboard, a device which transforms any smartphone into a virtual field trip. Currently, there are 200 trips to choose from.

4. Virtual classrooms: E-learning is picking up fast across the world and in bits and pieces in India. With Google classroom, educators and students can pursue paperless education on a centralized cloud-based platform.

Experts from anywhere in the world can connect with students over hangouts, hold lectures and even share online resources and give personal feedback. And it is completely free to use, making it ideal for cost effective learning with only initial costs for hardware and internet.

5. Open-source learning: For those looking at more in-depth self-study, no longer do you need to buy exorbitantly priced journal to access peer-reviewed and authentic research. Google provides platforms like Google Scholar and Google Books, with a vast amount of data available on a plethora of topics, for free.

 

So, there you have it. As long as you have an internet connection, you could be the next dancer, photographer or pastry chef in the making. Google India is already making strides in Indian education with initiatives like ‘Internet Saathi’, which is helping women in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh get online. And in a country like India where smartphone and internet usage is expanding rapidly, Google could be the next big teacher, age and distance no bar. 

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