Posts tagged search engines
In conjunction with the new iCLAST unit on “identity,” 7th grade students explored the concept of “digital identity” today.
Searching our own names online (Bing, Google, Ask, Yahoo, Pipl.com, Spock.com), we found that unless you know someone in the real world, it can be impossible to figure out what results are accurate and which are about someone completely different. This can become important when it is time to apply for high school, college or jobs, as well as with friends and parents.
A few students, like Aranza and Deividas, have unique enough names that there wasn’t any misinformation associated with their searches. Others, like Forrest, learned that there are thousands of results that have little to do with their own lives.
Some highlights of the class:
- Aaron is an all conference 2nd baseman who hit .351
- Sophie S. went to The Giddens School (true fact)
- Veronica lives down in Grenada Hills, CA
- Toby died during the war of 1812
- Isabel stars in 2 teenage novels
- Dani is a broadway star-quality singer and dancer
- Amanda works at Parliament
- Rachel L. has 2 children
- Augie’s dad’s name is Chris (true fact)
- Aselya has her own radio station
- Sophie L. is a honey farmer
- Curtis won the 2008 stock market game (true fact)
- Nicholas has a 5-star film
- Alex is a DJ
- Nicole has a boyfriend named Steve
- Twig is a florist
- Halley is a 43 year old Englishman
- Abbey is a 70 year old Australian
- Nova volunteered to feed kids (true fact)
- Forrest is a 3 out of 4 star doctor
- Rachel R is a supervisor at Netflix
- Isaac is a black male who died in South Carolina
- Drew is an actor
- Ronan is a Facebook friend with someone named Ilya (true fact)
- Reyna is a business analyst from Toronto
- Nick is a realtor in Mount Vernon
- Sophia gets her hair cut in Queen Anne (true fact)
- Aranza is mentioned in a webpage about brain research (true fact)
The 6th grade concluded Internet boot camp this week. Everyone is clear on why Billings provides computers and Internet access and their responsibilities as users. We took a moment to define some common terms that will be used throughout their middle school technology experiences.
|Web broswer||an application used to connect to the internet.|
|software that can be installed on a computer to complete a task.|
|Software||a set of instructions telling a computer what to do when it receives input from a keyboard or mouse.|
|Search engine||a website you visit using a web browser so that you can find information on the internet.|
The difference between a web browser and search engine has been murky in the past for some students. We reinforced our Microsoft Excel skills from STeM class to build a comparison chart:
|Company||Web Browser||Search Engine|
Question of the day: online research skills
Which of the current President’s daughters’ nicknames was more popular in the last public record of U.S. baby names?
Students quickly recognized that this was a “think and search” question…and there were multiple puzzles to solve:
- current President: Barack Obama
- daughters’ nicknames: Sasha & Malia
- last public record: 2008
So the question became, “Which name was more popular in 2008, Sasha or Malia?”
There were quite a few ways of finding this answer using search engines. Most students ended up at babynames.com or the Social Security Administration website. Some employed the Control+F keyboard shortcut to search for names in a list.
Once the dust settled, Halley, Elijah and Twig took top prize for cracking the code! We then took a few minutes to get familiar with WolframAlpha, a computational knowledge engine that is built specifically for mathematical and statistical analysis. Typing in “sasha, malia name 2008″ quickly netted a clear answer:
6th grade is preparing for a visit from Michael, a Google engineer who works in Fremont. This week we went straight to the Wikipedia entry for information about the company and it’s founders, Larry & Sergey. We talked about a lot of cool things:
- Larry built his first computer when he was 12.
- Larry & Sergey got a check for $100,000 to start their company, but the check was written to Google, Inc (a company that didn’t exist) so they had to create the company to get their money!
- Google was started while the founders were at Stanford, and it was called “BackRub.”
- They’ve given over $1B to philanthropic endeavors (Bill Gates also gives lots of money to charitable causes).
This week was all about building skills that will serve us for the rest of our academic careers.
Typing – every 6th grade student has an online typing account that should be accessible from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Each student completed this week’s homework in class. Things to remember:
- If you don’t have computer or internet access at home, please contact me so we can come up with a suitable alternative.
- If you have trouble accessing the typing website, please contact me so we can troubleshoot and get the technical obstacles out of the way.
- Typing speed is NOT important! Relax and focus on proper hand placement.
- Consistency is the key! We are trying to build good habits. You are welcome to complete additional lessons every week, but try to space them out so they aren’t done all in one night.
Googlewhacking – as an intro to Boolean searching, we spent some time searching the Google search engine for an elusive 2 word term that returns exactly 1 engine result. So far we haven’t found a winner, but it is still fun to try.
6th grade tech is back to 2x a week for the rest of the school year! We kicked off our final term of 6th grade with a variety of activities and conversations.
First, we reviewed typing expectations for April-June: 5 minutes/4x per week. Everyone starts this term with a fresh start – an instant A+ in typing. The purpose of typing assignments is to improve typing ability so that our brains can focus on the content of what we type, not the mechanics. Everyone that typed regularly last term got an “A” in tech, and everyone that has typed regularly this school year has improved their typing speed and accuracy.
Next we turned our attention to SPAM. Many students are becoming frustrated with some their peers’ use of school email communication to send unwanted emails. We reviewed our agreed upon lab and internet guidelines (created back in 2007) and talked about possible consequences of future account abuse.
In preparation for our class on Boolean operators, we engaged in a little Googlewhacking. We had a few close calls, but Cillian eventually took the top prize of the day when he discovered exactly one search result for “gimp humuhumunukunukuapuaas.”
The final 10 minutes of class were left for open exploration of Phun. Phun (created by Emil Ernerfeldt) is “an educational tool to learn about physics concepts such as restitution and friction” and is open-source and free!
Homework assignment: What are Boolean operators? What are the 3 most commonly used? Respond via email before Friday!
written by Julia D.
Digital identity, you leave one almost every where, it is the identity you can make by just searching the web. Google save your information that you leave by searching about any thing for a total of 8 months, and it’s not that hard to look at them if you know how. Hackers could get your credit card number, phone number, name, age, and date of birth. Sometimes people tracked can be bad, but other times it’s what people need to find the source of a bad use of the internet. If you are tracked by a website and the website is hacked then the hackers can easily access all your info, but if you aren’t tracked and you do something bad with the information you lost an opportunity to stop them.
I think that the idea of erasing things is good and bad, because if someone uses that information for the wrong reason then if it had been there it could have been stopped? Then again if your memory is saved, and people take that information and send you tons of random things about the stuff you search that you don’t really need; that’s a bad feature about saving the information.
The second article is an explanation of most sides of the story about anonymously searching the web. She allows you to see everyone’s perspective of it, which is nice if you want a better understanding of the concept. This makes it easy to make an argument for either side, good or bad.
It would be a good idea for a person with a medical condition, because once they see that you searched a type of medicine then you will most likely get a ton of SPAM that you don’t necessarily want in your inbox.
The idea to an employer wouldn’t be good though because maybe one of their employee’s is using it to look up another rival companies phone/email to switch to that job. If that was one of your top employee’s than the anonymously searching the web proposal might be something that you wouldn’t want to do.
An employee might think of it as a good idea though because if you are working and you are looking up another job you most likely don’t want your employer to see that. So the idea of it erasing all that you searched might be good to an unhappy employee.
There are many different opinions to this concept, and they all have ups and downs. So for right now it is pretty even with deciding whether it is good or bad, but I believe that as long as you are using it for the right reasons and not putting it to bad use it should be OK.
Tech in the News
Microsoft, owner of one of the top 3 search engines in the world, is interested in buying Yahoo! (it’s closest competitor) in an effort to bulk up for a head-to-head competition with Google.
The 7th grade spent our class together discussing the implications of both of these potential events. For the Microsoft merge, we discussed why MS would be interested in buying Yahoo!, how search engines generate revenue from advertising, and the implications of having less choices for search engines.
When talking about the News Corp. deal, we went discussed freedom of the press, the building of communications conglomerates and the effect of monopolization on competition and freedom of choice.
Students ended class in small groups. Each group chose an industry (fashion, booksellers, ski resorts, to name a few) and imagined what things would look like if a single company took over that entire industry. Some discussion highlights:
- Maya and Becky suggested that if there was only a single clothing retailer, people’s economic status wouldn’t be reflected in their clothing but that people would lose their ability to express their individuality through dress.
- Owen pointed out that if Barnes & Noble were the only bookseller, they could drastically reduce the amount of stores needed in any geographic area, thus reducing costs.
- Nava, Savannah & Isaac hypothesized that if Papaya made and sold all the clothing in the country, the price of clothing could be reduced and garment workers could be paid a fair living wage.
- Sam, Tristan & Stephan said that if all the ski areas were owned by a single company, then that organization could raise and lower the prices of lift tickets at all resorts simultaneously knowing that there weren’t better deals in the area.