James Gleick in The Information sums up what Google and most of the other Web 2.0 technologies do as search and filter. He is right that all around us we are surrounded with more and more information, which can overwhelm us. First we have to find the information we want and second we have to filter out the information we do not want.
These should be essential skills for students but I do not think that we spend enough time on them. Students can be good at finding information but they are not very discerning and so they tend to pick the lowest fruit. This will often be the worst possible data, or the least balanced opinion.
I use twitter to do search and filter of current news. By reading the twitter feeds I get a 140 character digest of what is going on so I can then follow up on anything interesting. This is a good way of finding new examples of statistics for classes from the news.