Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What do YA's do in their free time?

Wiki Races
In between semesters when students have no assignments, they love to play "Wiki Races".
What exactly is Wiki Races?

It's an invented game played by boys who sit in close proximity on the computers. A student told me "only bros do it". They randomly pick a topic such as gorillas, find the wikipedia page, and then select another random topic such as Cuban Missle Crisis. Then students race each other to get info on the 2nd selected topic without actually searching. The "rules" are that they have to cleverly click through linked content on Wikipedia to hop, skip and jump their way to the 2nd selected random topic.

The winner of Gorillas to Cuban Missile Crisis did it in 5 minutes. Rolling Stones to Footbinding took 15 minutes. (more esoteric) In only 3 minutes, a student was able to jump from John Adams to Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, a wrestler.

I quizzed them on their search strategies. They basically move from broad to specific. They mostly used the embedded links within the content (not external links). One student reported, "the more you know about a topic, the more routes there are to get there". This is definitely good practice for thinking about key words.

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