Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Triva in the Age of Google and Facebook

For St. Patrick's Day each teacher is wearing a green paper shamrock. To get your shamrock students must answer your trivia question (after class of course). Each shamrock is worth a point in our school's class cup, a year long student council run competition.

My question was, "What is my wife maiden name?"

It was a work day in class, working on our part of Holland's energy week. Soon students were working hard, but on what? Suddenly, as I walked around the room I was hearing my wife's maiden name pronounced wrong all over the room. I reminded them that I would not be taking questions until the bell rang and that the pronunciation had to be correct. At the end of the hour I had a line and the right answer, correctly pronounced. In fact it was correctly pronounced by my own father in law.

The students had facebooked my wife (who was on Facebook right at that moment) to come up with her maiden name. Facebook is blocked on their laptops, but not of course on their phones. She told me she got three messages. To get the pronunciations they typed, "how do I pronounce..." into Google. My father in law is in the State Assembly in Wisconsin. For constituents the Assembly provides an audio link of each representative pronouncing their name.

There are so many lessons to take away from this. What strikes you?

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