An administrator was surprised I was allowing my students to do research using Google.
Google is not the same search engine that it was way back in 2005, when the other "more scholarly" databases were "better".
I suggest you read or listen to the book Googled: The End of the World As We Know It, by Ken Aluetta.
Actually there are several things to consider in relationship to education.
First, if we are teaching real world success, everybody Googles. Outside of school, most people don't have access to premium databases. They Google. College students Google. College professors and researchers Google. You and I Google several times per day. These facts make it even more important for students to distinguish between reliable and questionable Google results. (By the way, most Google results are no longer as questionable as they used to be because of second reason below...)
Second, Google's goal is to give the best search results possible, by cataloging the entire Internet, then using "the wisdom of the herd" to determine what is important. They call their data gathering algorithms Page Rank (after founder Page), and it really works. The best results really do come out on top. The more people use Google, the better it gets. Irrelevant results go down the list because nobody clicks them. Relevant links move up because more people find them relevant to their search terms and search history.
Third, Google really has concentrated most of its resources on free search, and wants you to find what you are looking for and get off their site as fast as possible. They have made it easier to find what you are looking for, and have made results more accurate, in order to reach this goal. It can be argued that paid-for databases have the goal to keep you on their site, so you take their results, even if it isn't what you really want and even if it is old info. Their privatized results are biased by the contributors to their sites, who are either paying or getting paid. Google isn't getting paid by anyone they link in a search result - results and placement are not influenced by payment at all. (That is what killed the other search engines.)
Fourth, Google has Google Scholar, Google Books, Google News, images and videos - all accessible by a single search. Can any paid-for database match that? Even the ads served by Google, since they are unobtrusive and contextual, can aid a search result.
Finally, we are in a budget crisis. Stop paying for databases and online reference sources, unless they are obtained via grant funds.
So when the administrator said today, Mr. G., they are Googling! I have to say, especially for a 9th grade special needs class with many students that claim to never have written a multiple page report, yes they are Googling - and it is good.