Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Wikipedia are two of the top research websites for for American students, according to Pew Research Center.

Ninety-four percent of teachers report that research means “Googling”. The same teachers surveyed their students and found out that their students are highly likely to use Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) or other search engines when doing their reports.

wikipedia and google

75% of students also mentioned they were likely to use Wikipedia or other online encyclopedias for research. Last, but not least, 56% of students said they’ve used social media websites like YouTube.

The Pew Internet Research survey also indicated, “According to the teachers in this study, perhaps the most fundamental impact of the Internet and digital tools on how students conduct research is how today’s digital environment is changing the very definition of what “research” is and what it means to “do research.”  Ultimately, some teachers say, for students today, “research = Googling.”  Specifically asked how their students would define the term “research,” most teachers felt that students would define the process as independently gathering information by “looking it up” or “Googling.”  And when asked how middle and high school students today “do research,” the first response in every focus group, teachers and students, was “Google.”

As expected, the usage rates of traditional resources, like textbooks, print books, or research librarians have have decreased. Less than one-in-five teachers reported that students were likely to use traditional resources.

The times have changed and today’s generation of kids are probably more tech savvy than their parents are.  It’s good to know that there is a wealth of resources and information out there for those who need it. It’s even exciting to think about how the technology has changed over the last ten years and how they will continue to change in the next few years. I predict that in five years, kids will use textbooks less and tablets with applications more. I also predict that teachers will find new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom with modern technology.

Technology and education have always been linked in some way, so it should come as no surprised that teachers are encouraging the use of technology inside and outside their classrooms.