How The New Google Images Redesign Can Help Students

Never wanting to take a break or stop reinventing the wheel, Google has just unveiled the new design for Google Images. It gets ride of a lot of the text, urls, and other miscellaneous data and focuses instead on making image search a more visual experience. Let’s be honest, how often did you actually look at what the image was called in its filename? That type of information doesn’t matter since you can simply rename your image to whatever you want. Google realized this and has just announced that the new design will be rolled out over the next couple days. (Not everyone will have it immediately, but you will by the end of the week)

Here’s a sneak peek at the new layout from the Google Press Conference happening today.

no text, bigger images, infinte scroll!

All The Details

Results are now shown on the screen without text/links — it’s all images. It has infinite scrolling (images load dynamically as you keep scrolling down the page). You can get up to 1,000 images on one page. Second thing they’ve changed is that you get more information on the results page. Clicking an image gives a larger thumbnail preview, rather than opening it in a frame — this makes it easier to quickly browser through many images. The snippet accompanying each image is also more comprehensive.

What happens when you click through? First you see a big version of the image, with a preview of the website it came from in the background (no more annoying frame nested at the top of the browser).

Announcement for advertisers: Google Image Search Ads. A new ad product that allows you to run your own image as an ad on Image Search.

Marissa Mayer making the big announcement

A New Way To Process Data

So how can something like this help students? The new search focuses on having the human brain interpret and process countless streams of images and other visual data rather than focus on remembering text. This allows the brain to archive and recall images without be forced to conform to naming strategies other people employed with filenames. In other words, a nearly text-less image search means faster searching and easier recall by students looking to find something they only remember by what it looked like.

Incorporating In Classrooms

Here’s a few ideas we came up with as some of us over at EduDemic contemplated how to leverage the new image search in your classroom.

  • Host a treasure hunt designed to have students focus on smaller details not normally easy to see in Google image search.
  • Identify the fake! Have students try to find the most accurate image of a historic event or other person. Also see if students can find forgeries or fake photographs (photoshopped) so they can hone their brains to recognize fakes from the real thing.
  • Learning to use the library. Since the images are now larger and easier to search, pick one particular photo and ask students to use Boolean phrases in order to find one particular image. This would be great for librarians looking to engage their students.

As of this writing (July 20th) the search redesign has not yet rolled out to us. If you have been lucky enough to use the search, let us know how it works and if you can think of any other ways to use the redesign to help in education.


  1. You guys are SOO wro

    July 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I don't have the new image browser yet, so can't speak to how much detail they give, but if you're description is right, this is a disaster for any teacher/librarian trying to teach student's responsible use of media and appropriate citations–which require titles, url's, etc. All those things you say are being left off.

    We'll see if the direct link to the site offers those, still…but it's nice to just have it all under the image.

  2. Penny

    October 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I won't let my students use Google Images because of the few lewd photos that keep being in my searches. Would love to use it, but there has to be better filtering. I wish there was a kid's site that was VERY filtered.