Today, a friend on Facebook shared an article in Time magazine about how a new “campaign from UN Women places popular search terms about women in front of portraits,” to show the (mostly negative) searches that people (most often) run in Google.
I was stunned by some of the haunting portraits, but they also got me thinking. It’s a fascinating start for a project, one that could lead to a thoughtful critique of why, cause/effect, social values, etc.
What if students started a search with their state name and the word “is”? I learn that “pennsylvania is not a state” and “oregon is awesome” and “florida is not the south.”
Then I wondered…
what would a search for education terms reveal?
Here are my results, as of October 19, 2013, in the central part of the United States of America.
What do we think of education?
Well, we think it’s pretty darn awesome. It means success, freedom, and change.
What do we think of certain areas of knowledge?
Maybe a lot of us are just searching for ways to convince others that the water cycle and compound sentences are entertaining, but maybe many of us web users do believe in their importance. And “science is the poetry of reality”? I was not expecting that 🙂
What do we think about places where education often is disseminated?
Not so rosy and happy now, is it? School is general is the equivalent of incarceration, high school sucks, college is worse, and college should be more about the pay of student athletes (this may rank so high be because it’s a popular argumentative essay topic, too). I noticed that there’s no mention of education or learning in the most popular searches.
What do we think of the people who work in these facilities?
In a country where school shootings have become more and more frequent, it’s not that amazing that guns rank among the top teacher search phrases. Teachers should not be heard? That’s an interesting approach to classroom management. “Math teachers are pirates because they want you to find X and the treasure” is a popular meme. Overall, professors are horrible people, it would appear (although English profs may be hot losers) and we need to use Wikipedia and technology to improve our teaching.
What about the individuals who enter these facilities as students?
Apparently we’re more concerned about what kids have to wear rather than what they put in their brains! The “students traveling in two cars” gives solutions to common algebra problems, so people are trying to do their math homework…or trying to cheat on their math homework. College students are given similarly negative adjectives as their professorial counterparts, particularly “arrogant.”
But what do these different groups NEED?