In the News This Morning — Google & LIFE

I’m an iPhone App junkie.  I scan the App Store daily looking for the coolest new tool-oy or update of yesterday’s tool-oy.  But, hands-down, my most often activated app is Mobile News, powered by Associated Press.  ..and this morning, I learned that Google has launched an online photo gallery that will ultmately feature millions of images from Life magazine’s archives — photos that have never been seen by the public.

Two Million photos from Life Magazine’s Libraries are suddenly available to the lifestyles of the connected world.

Starting today, Google offers to the connected eye and mind, about 2 million photos.  The Mountain View company plans to scan all 10 million photos from LIFE’s library.  According to the AP article, “About 97 percent of LIFE’s archives have not been publicly seen, according to LIFE.” ((“Google gives online life to Life mag’s photos .” The Associated Press 18 Nov 2008 19 Nov 2008 . ))

My family received Life Magazine when I was growing up.  It was one of the highlights of the month to be able to scan through the photos, those pages providing a window on our world.  It, and other published and broadcasted images and sounds, had a profound affect on my generation.

Today, however, the Internet, and the inventive and often donated efforts of many organizations, like Google (but many others) are providing lenses for drilling so much deeper into our world, its workings, its past, and even the future.

Yet, for many schools today, access to LIFE’s library remains limited to that single magazine, perched on the magazine rack, along side many of the very same journals that we perused decades ago — and the shame is in our prevailing belief that schools that limit learners’ access to content remain adequate for educating our children.

We know that a crucial part of the formula that describes and defines the education experience that today’s children desperately need is access to abundant, rich media that is digital and networked.  Services like Google LIFE photo archive, offer not only access to knowledge, but perhaps more importantly to the pedagogies of a digital world, raw materials for working information in ways that provoke learning, not just administer it.

According to the AP article, “The photos can be printed out for free as long as they aren’t being used as part of an attempt to make money.”

From Google’s blog article (LIFE Photo Archive available on Google Image Search) about this new offering…

One of our favorites is this classic Eisenstaedt image of children watching a puppet show.

Alfred snapped this in 1963, at the climax of Guignol’s “Saint George and the Dragon” in the Tuileries Garden in Paris. Just as the dragon is slain, some children cry out in a combination of horror and delight, while others are taken aback in shock. Every child is consumed with emotion, masterfully captured by Eisenstaedt’s camera… ((

Image from Google’s LIFE Photo Archive ((“Factory workers displaying gyroscopes from assembly line..” Google Photo Archive. Google Inc. 19 Nov 2008 link. ))
[Click to enlarge]

Couldn’t we learn to capture learning, instead of just measuring it, like this.

We must make a clear statement, a demand, that 21st century learners and teachers (master learners) must have convenient access to networked, digital, and abundant content and the tools for working that content.

This is not about future schools.

This is not about special schools.

This is about the characteristics of basic education today, for today’s children, and their/our future.

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.