The big number is 136 hits on Nov 23. I made sure to keep the number 136 out of the title, because all bloggers aspire for many more than 136 hits per day. My blog is brand new and hopefully growing and this is my starting point. Maybe my fellow new bloggers can get a confidence boost, because at least they are beating me.
Circumstances of the Special Day
Nov 23, 2016 was a significant day for teachers. It is the day before thanksgiving, where we get a couple of days off, before starting the manageable stretch until the long awaited winter break. It is a half day early dismissal. Some people call it a half day, but 5/7 is much more than a half. At my school, the classes are cut to 65 minutes instead of 90 minutes, and there was a basketball tournament, last block to raise money for charity. Band students are on a field trip, and A few of my students were out of town already.
My own son, who is in my class this year, showed me a thermometer that registered a suspicious 125° Fahrenheit. As a physics teacher, I do this act where I pretend not to understand anything in “American units”. I’ll say things like
- What is this “inch” you speak of? Is it close to a meter?
- Something is wrong with one side of this meter stick.
- Is the 107 lb wrestling weight class big guys? How many kilos is that?
Jumpstart Jr. really took advantage of me, knowing that if he had said his temperature was 52° C or 325 Kelvin, I would have recognized the absurdity of his claim, and sent him straight to school.
Anyway, it is a light day at school, and even if you try to accomplish something, you would regret it the following Monday, with students wanting make-up assignments, and complaining about new material they missed. There were a lot of videos playing nearby that day. Some were solidly educational, while others had some have very loose correlations. I decided to go back, and teach the topic scientific method which I had skipped earlier.
My Lesson Plan
On the first day of school, all the other science teachers concentrate on scientific method and/or lab safety, and I figure my students have already been taught it, and I throw them into the deep end, with some kind of lab where they have very few instructions, and little background knowledge. It is always fun watching very accomplished students look lost, without directions. You never know which kid will actually have a creative idea, and put it into action. The group leaders are never who you would have expected. I reason that students will learn scientific method during all the experiments we do, without mention of the steps. I don’t cover the topic directly, but today I did, and I even made a flipchart.
The flipchart basically looked something like this:
Problem/Question. Does choosing certain links over other links affect ranking for google search result.
Hypothesis. If higher ranked links are overlooked, and a lower ranked link is chosen from google search, then the links will move relative to each other.
Enter Jumpstart from scratch into a google search and ignore the control group, and click on the experimental group.
- Control group: Overlook search results including meaning of jumpstart.
- Experimental group: Choose and click on the jumpstart home page.
Results. Examine search results over the next several days. (The kids never did this part.)
Conclusion. (The kids never did this part either.)
The kids clicked through everything like I instructed, and It was interesting to witness how little kids read when they aren’t explicitly told to do so. It was sometimes a good five minutes before I would get a question like “Hey is this you?” I am pretty sure some of the students left without realizing why I had pointed them towards this site.
There was only one subordinate student who refused to do the assignment. I responded by wrestling her iPhone from her hand, changed Jumpstart her home page, and the green jumpstart logo her background picture. Obviously kidding. It would have taken me an hour to figure out how to do those things on the iPhone, and a teenage girl will fight to the death for her iPhone. And, despite what you hear about disorderly high school students, all of my students are fine young adults, who are always cooperative.
Anyway, I know the kids never analyzed the data, but I did. For a couple of days a Google search for jumpstart from scratch would spit out favorable results. Unexpectedly, the Jumpstart Facebook page was the top result. It was weird because I hadn’t sent any of my students, anywhere near the Facebook page. The “Meaning of Jumpstart” page was #4, despite all the students overlooking it, and my home page was still difficult to find. The experiment shows the best way to get results is to hold a group hostage, and make them visit your page. It also demonstrates that I have no idea how google determines search rankings, because the links that got the most clicks, were not the links that rose on the search page.
So my record day came the day before thanksgiving, with 138 hits, and a surprising 9.7 clicks per visitor. Even though the students were on different laptops, they were all going through the same school wifi, and were probably chunked together as the same user. The path to my next record day is clear. If I choose a day without interruptions, like basketball tournaments, band trips and abnormally hot kids, I should see twice as many students, and get twice as many hits. In the end, I’ll just attempt to write well, and hope for the best.