Nicky Morgan: Search engines are not a ‘substitute for knowledge’

The TES is reporting that Nicky Morgan has warned that internet search engines are not a “substitute for knowledge” and technology cannot replace good teachers.

While the education secretary said she and her government were “excited” by the possibilities that technology could offer the profession, she warned that it could not be a replacement for good teaching.

“We have made it clear over the last six years in government that knowledge is the key to excellent educational outcomes,” Ms Morgan said at the education technology conference Bett in East London today.

“A rigorous curriculum, putting the right foundations in place, alongside high-quality assessments are the embodiment of that. Probably the worst attitude we can take is that access to search engines is somehow a substitute for knowledge. It isn’t…”

More at: Nicky Morgan: Search engines are not a ‘substitute for knowledge’


Where do you stand on the need for knowledge in the era of virtually permanent access to the internet at all times?

Is it the case that your ability to access and use information from the internet is based to some degree on the amount of knowledge you already have?

Or do we still need to embrace much greater levels of change in how we approach learning these days because of it?

Please share your opinions in the comments or via Twitter…


The impact of search engines on teaching and learning: overestimated or underestimated?

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Categories: Learning, Teaching and Technology.


  1. pompeygeorge

    As opposed to the Michael
    Gove “pub quiz curriculum” where you memorise things that for most people you’d look up?

  2. lsrask

    SchoolsImprove wait until Internet search is wired into our biotech fabric. If you aren’t Internet safety equipped by then…

  3. The full speech is here:
    Morgan is right that googling alone is no substitute for knowledge.  But it is an aid to knowledge.  It’s impossible for us to be taught in school all the knowledge we will ever need.  That’s why encyclopaedias and dictionaries were invented.
    Today’s encyclopaedias and dictionaries are on the net.  The secret is knowing whether the info we find is reliable or not.  And that needs teaching in school by properly qualified teachers.

  4. TW

    So pleased Nicky made that clear – otherwise no-one would have known.  A delight to have such an erudite sage installed at the highest levels of government.  We are blessed.

  5. peterabarnard

    SchoolsImprove I don’t know what this means. Search engines are a great resource in a world where knowledge is streamed rather than static

  6. MRyanBLS

    SchoolsImprove OMG why do we appoint Ed Secs who can’ t teach. AIM HIGHER!!!! Think and find out what isn’t already known!!!! #MuppetMorgan

Let us know what you think...