Google Now Voice Commands And Their Affect On The Classroom

3 February 2014

Go back a few years, and the need to remember facts, figures and formulas was of great value to people.

If you didn’t know how to find the area of a triangle, or the symbol of sodium, you would need to stop what you were doing, go and look up the formula or figure in a reference book (often in another room or building), write it down and then continue with your work.

See the great info-graphic of Google now voice commands below.

Much of what we taught our students reflected the value of knowing these things.  We would drill the students, test their ability to retain information and grade them on their ability to both regurgitate and apply these formulas.

Fast forward to 2014 and the value has shifted.  Here’s why:

If you don’t know a fact or figure, you don’t need to go and find a reference book, you simple ask your phone.

With Google now voice commands, you can simply search Google without even needing to type a word.  This will especially be the case when Google Glass becomes available for your students.

You can use Google now voice commands to:

Answer your questions.

For example, try asking Google “what is the atomic weight of sodium”.  Or if you are really interested, “What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?”

Define words:

For example, say “define, earthquake”

Translate words:

Say “How do you say I love my teacher in Spanish”

Perform simple and complex calculations:

Try “what is 5+5” or “graph X squared”

Here is where I see the value in education starting to change:

With information being so accessible, the value will no longer be what can I remember; but will be what information can I find, process and assimilate into my learning.

In my opinion, there is more value in being able to find information than remember it.  Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comment section below

This is why it is imperative that your students have a Google Search Strategy

Below is a great info-graphic outlining a number of Google Now Voice Commands:

there are also some voice commands listed over on the Google support site

Google Now voice commands by

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