Monday, May 26, 2008

What if it's true?

A recent article in eSchoolNews discusses the top searches performed by students in about 20,000 U.S. schools. These schools use a search engine called Net Trekker to catalog their students' web search queries.

According to the article, here are the top 15 searches being performed by students in these schools:
1. Games
2. Dogs
3. Animals
4. Civil War
5. George Washington
6. Holocaust
7. Abraham Lincoln
8. Multiplication
9. Math Games
10. Weather
11. Frogs
12. Fractions
13. Planets
14. Sharks
15. Plants

The question, for me, is: "what if this is true?" I can't help but notice that these students are not searched for pornography or YouTube videos or any of the other things that people are so worried that students will do when let loose on the internet.

I also recognize that this report is probably no where near scientific, but I think the results are more than a little compelling. Maybe, those of us who want to "protect" our students should pay closer attention to how they are actually using the Internet, and less time wrapping them in intellectual bubble wrap?


3 comments:

Nicole said...

I would believe this to be true. From what I have seen, kids genuinely want to learn, they just don't want to be schooled the "old fashioned way". I have yet to meet more than a couple of kids who don't sit down to the internet to find the answers to all of the questions that they have. Asking "why?" and "how?" doesn't end at two (although some days I wish it did!) When I was a kid, you stopped asking when you stopped getting honest answers, now they have unlimited access to everything. Will there be bad things- sure it's human nature, but when we really stop to look at anything, there is usually plenty more good than bad. Love the post, thanks for sharing!

Nicole @
Teaching Tomorrow

Mr. A. said...

Nicole,

I really like your take on this. I also stopped asking when I stopped getting honest answers.

Something to keep thinking about.
Gerald

Jack said...

Thank you for posting this! I'm working on a project at MIT to get kids to make SAT videos, and we're debating this issue now. That top 15 list is an interesting data point.