Monday, July 28, 2008

Something to keep in mind

Jonathan Rosenberg, Senior VP, Product Management at Google posted some interesting thoughts on the official Google blog the other day. In an entry called "Our Googley advice to students: Major in learning" Rosenberg talks about the importance of "non-routine problem-solving skills" for knowledge workers.
Here's a real-life example, a challenge a team of our engineers once faced: designing a spell-checker for the Google search engine. The routine solution would be to run queries through a dictionary. The non-routine, creative solution is to use the query corrections and refinements that other users have made in the past to offer spelling suggestions for new queries. This approach enables us to correct all the words that aren't in the dictionary, helping many more users in the process.
He goes on to mention:
It's easy to educate for the routine, and hard to educate for the novel.
Not that this is a terribly new or exciting insight but it's definitely an important one to keep in mind when you look at things like education and learning in your own life.

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