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An unGoogleable question

Posted on: April 24, 2014

I first reflected on what an unGoogleable question might be in December 2009.

I recall mentioning unGoogleable questions at a talk or two.

To make a long story short, this practice is about promoting higher order thinking with challenging questions. These type of questions could be discussed daily in class or used in high stakes online exams.

But here is is different type of unGoogleable question.

At the moment, you cannot find a definite answer if you Googled “What should you do if a dinosaur was about to eat you?” So technically, it is a question with an unGoogleable answer. However, short of conducting a thought experiment, it is a pointless question.

The boy’s answer is also not Googleable, nor can it be taught easily. But the critical and creative thinking behind that answer can be caught by learners who observe, adopt, and adapt the behaviours of educators who model such thinking.

So here is my unGoogleable question: How do we get more teachers who know how to ask and deal with unGoogleable questions of the non-dinosaur kind?

2 Responses to "An unGoogleable question"


This isn’t really answering your question I’m kinda just adding what I know about this subject.
I have used non-googleable question in a classroom before as a trial with some year 9s (ages 14-15) and they thrived. They posed questions that would have multiple answers and different students interpreted the questions differently.

My favourite one from that session was: How many icecream scoops would fit in a swimming pool?
Many children thought about how they would approach this question and so many different approaches were discussed. Students were discussing things like: How big is the scoop? How big is the pool? Do you want the icecream to melt or stay frozen? could we use some math to figure it out?

I was surprised by the amount of enthusiasm that surrounded this type of learning.
Making them think more created their engagement. Well worth it to get the higher order thinking skills.


What a wonderful unGoogleable question! Likewise for the questions the kids thought of. The questions are steps closer to the unGoogleable questions we face in life.


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