The world’s leading IT company Google has developed a teaching brochure with various initiatives. This is intended to explain to children how to use search engines correctly. Teachers would rather have extensive advanced and practical material to teach.
The internet company Google and the EU initiative klicksafe have jointly developed teaching materials for search engines on the internet. In the booklet presented on Wednesday (May 29) in Berlin, teachers will receive suggestions for the structure of lessons, worksheets and information on how search engines work.
This is how modern information skills are conveyed, said Birgit Kimmel, the educational director of klicksafe, “just as we learned earlier to use an atlas or a lexicon”. It is still often assumed that students are familiar with Internet searches. “It hasn’t reached schools yet.”
Internet searches for a specific piece of information are not always easy for children, but sometimes they retrieve it easily. You would often find it difficult to distinguish between advertising and search results. “Younger children, in particular, assume that what is above is the best result,” said Kimmel. There are often paid advertising offers on search engines. This distinction is also difficult for children on websites, said Kimmel. The checking of information and the skillful input of search queries are further topics. Children often typed whole sentences into the search field instead of just nouns.
For elementary school children, she recommends children’s search engines like Kidtopia, which only display pages that have been checked and found to be child-safe. Kidtopia representatives also worked on the teaching materials.
Learn to search the Internet properly – with documents from Google: This is criticized by teachers. The Teachers Association for Education and Upbringing advocated independent and neutral teaching in the classroom. It is not in itself indecent when Google and klicksafe work out such documents, said the deputy federal chairman of the association, Rolf Buch. “There is always a need.”
“What I see critically is that more and more schools and teachers are dependent on using such materials because they do not have other materials created by neutral bodies available,” he said. “There is no money for that.” He suggested that data protection officers could reveal such information. With the State Agency for Media in North Rhine-Westphalia, a government agency was involved in the development of the search engine guidelines.
Klicksafe educator Kimmel emphasized that the documents were neutral. Competitive providers such as Yahoo and Bing are also named in an exercise template. Google contributed important information to the function of search engines. But if children and young people are more familiar with Internet searches, this also helps the providers. Sabine Frank, who is responsible for youth protection and media competence at Google, said: “It is important to us that users can use our products competently.”
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