I recently taught a Microsoft Excel class at a local high school and I know it was different from what the people in the class expected. The class was entitled Microsoft Excel Top 20 Tips. For 90 minutes I went over these tips on my computer and it was projected to my students on a screen.

Google Search TipsSome of the students expected to be working on their own computer as I instructed them on Microsoft Excel. It is my feeling that that would have been very time-consuming and I could not get as many points across by doing it that way.

This is the thing: I would rather expose my students to ideas and concepts about what can be done rather than show them exactly how to do it. Part of the reason is because they can always visit my website www.teachanolddognewtricks.com and review everything I taught them. Second, it is more important that they realize that if they can’t remember how to do something it is okay to forget. The reason for this is that they can simply Google an idea or a concept and chances are great they will find instructions to solve the issue at hand.

In a previous post on this website, I mentioned the fact that most people only use at most 20% of what a software program can do. If you can get really good at that 20% you are in a good spot. The rest of the stuff you don’t know how to do can be imagined and Googled. But if you don’t know the potential and the concepts behind what is being done, how can you even know to ask the question?

One of the fantastic things about the software we use is that if you think there must be a better way to do something, there usually is. The issue is what do you call it and how do you do it?

In my opinion, Google has made it easy to forget. If you don’t know the answer, Google it. If you don’t even know how to ask the question, Google it. If you don’t remember that 2+2 = 4, Google it. Life is too short to think that you have to remember how to do everything. If you don’t remember how to do something in Microsoft Excel, my hope is that my teaching has made you a knowledgeable student that knows enough to Google how it is done.  Google owns YouTube and  there are millions of instructional videos on YouTube.  Visit YouTube and search “how to boil water.”

At the end of the class my hope isn’t that the students are great at Excel, my hope is that they’ve learned that they don’t have to remember everything that I taught them because they can find the answers. What I truly hope is that they learned task the question and Google it.