Encourage Students to Give Feedback on Google Answers

Early on in the Digital Polarization Project we had students do large info-environmentalism projects, and we still do that sometimes. But I’ve become convinced that the more sustainable change is in simpler actions — stuff you can do in a few hours or even a few seconds.

Here’s an example from today — I was talking with my daughter about her summer job, and the question of what minimum wage was in Washington State came up. Google told us it was $11/hour:

minimum wage

And it was — in 2017. But it’s 2018, and so scanning a bit further we found the Washington government site, where it is listed as $11.50 as of this past January:

history

That could be that, but there is a feedback button below the Google result.

feedback

Now I do want to be clear — the chances of Google looking at your particular answer and fixing this particular answer is quite low. Google tends to avoid adjusting individual answers. But if it identifies a systemic problem — for example, broadly out of date minimum wage data across many states — it may result in some attention to the way they derive these answers. So go ahead and do it, it just takes a second:

minumum

Having students give feedback also helps remind students that the answers they see at the top of the Google result page are at best guesses.

If you’re looking for a quick classroom activity, going and look up the minimum wage in various states and see if Google gets it right. Give feedback if it doesn’t.

 

 

One thought on “Encourage Students to Give Feedback on Google Answers

  1. Pingback: Encourage Students to Give Feedback on Google Answers

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