February 4th, 2021

DIY research videos

It would be cool if there was a resources where people could see how to google important questions.

I think using google is a skill, and I see far to many low income people struggle to use this tool, while the kids who grew up with computers are far more advanced.

I would like to see a series of videos where someone starts with an important topic - and then we can watch (from the perspective of their computer screen w/ narration or other learning methods) how they word the google search, how they check the validity of the source, how they honestly find the source(s) that help them with their topic, etc. etc.

I once asked a young man I knew for help finding out how to get paid to plow snowy streets using our own plow and vehicle. I was in my home city of DC, where young people are often too busy with the day to day to care about learning to research. He was not able to find me any information, for a myriad of reasons. One of them was he had no idea how to google the information.

If we could be more transparent about how we surf the internet. If we took down some of the smoke and mirrors for online home research. I think this could be a really useful tool for educators and individuals looking to learn/teach how to research on one's own.

At the end of the day we have to really ask ourselves, do people want credible information? I think that the answer can often be, no. Because sometimes that information goes against everything we have ever been taught, and that can be hard to stomach. So, I say we help people question their sources, and let them build off of the validity of their arguments, rather then look to simply discredit them.

The videos can show us researching a myriad of topics. From showing people how to use google to find videos on installing a new turn signal light, or DIY laminate flooring videos. But we can also have - how to find information on starting a business in "example state". Or, why do people think Jews have a space station? And the whole time people are able to see and hear (through narration) every step that is being took to find that information. People can pick up on the precise language that can help them google better. Better words, tips and tricks, how to vet sources, how to compare sources, and more.

Part of the reason youtube is so popular is because of how-to videos. I have seen these videos benefit all sorts of people, with a special shout out to folks who cant afford to pay someone else for their skills. I say we harness some of this energy, and put it towards helping people research and learn on their own.

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Comments (2)

Comments (2)

Hi Nathaniel:

Interesting idea. Do you have thoughts about how to spread the word about such a resource once it is created?

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This is going to be Youth focused, but that is just where my head is at.

Honestly, there are so many youth who dont have laptops but do have phones. Plenty of these youth spend hours on instagram or looking at sports clips or cooking videos on YouTube. So, social media would be my first step.

I personally think the harder thing would be to convey how these skills can actually help them in their present day life. Many do not understand how life will change as the job market continues to automate "no-skill" jobs.

I think, particularly because young people are taught to lie on our resumes ("lie now, and learn on the job latter" rhetoric), teaching them how to use technology to learn will help them explore what they want to learn about more - Whether their engaging with content about jobs, controversial topics, politics, hobbies or other things. "Simple" and "free" research tools like google are a resource I use all the time, and its a resource that I constantly see people not being able to take advantage of.

Thanks for asking!