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  • Circle or Polygon? Scott Farrar. This thing is poised to take over the all-time list once it crosses the 25-response threshold.
  • Lemonade, Christopher Danielson. On some other site — let's call it Bizarro 101questions — Danielson uploaded a video in which he dropped a can of concentrate into each of those containers and started filling them with water.
  • Megalodon Tooth, Jake Jouppi. I know I declared a moratorium on this kind of imagery (which is all over the site at this point) but think about the size of that shark, okay?
  • Ping Pong, Bob Lochel. Great first act with strong implications for the third.
  • Roller Coaster Steepness, Tom Ward. An excellent supercut of roller coasters that asks the student to first decide which one feels steepest (that's a low rung on the ladder of abstraction) before using mathematical analysis to determine which one actually is steepest.

My own listings:

Data Dump:

Median photo perplexity: 46.
Median video perplexity: 51.

Photos own the top ten list but videos are more perplexing, on balance.

14 Responses to “Five Favorites — 101Questions [5/19/12]”

  1. on 19 May 2012 at 5:35 amDan Anderson

    Do the stats show video is more perplexing than pictures because of the moving images and audio? Or could it be skewed because the average video took more thought to create (or cut), edit, and upload. Does more effort and thought on behalf of the uploader indicate more perplexity?

  2. on 19 May 2012 at 6:20 amNathan Kraft

    I believe some pictures easily get a high score because you can immediately see a question. You don’t have to put much thought into it. Just look at jelly beans (http://www.101qs.com/35-jelly-beans – no offense Dan, you have some awesome stuff on 101qs). The question is screaming itself at you…begging for you to enter it into the box. It just takes so little effort to think, “How many…?” I think that the only reason the pictures have a more bell curve shape is because there are a lot of casual users uploading a ton of non-mathematically-intriguing pictures.

    Videos take a little more work…a little more commitment to watch. And I even find myself thinking, if I don’t see a question in the first few seconds of this video, I’m skipping it. I don’t feel like wasting a minute of my life watching the whole thing.

    In a classroom, the situation is reversed. I don’t think students want a quick set-up for a problem. I think videos can work better because the student knows he/she is stuck there in that desk, and they are perfectly content watching it. The length of the video is not an issue for them. On 101qs, there’s too much incentive to quickly look at each item, because as teachers, we’re really just interested to see what would be useful for our classrooms. Just take a look at this one by Chris Danielson (http://www.101qs.com/456-griffy-counts). How does this only have a score of 61? I think this would work great in a classroom.

    And finally, videos lend themselves better to an act 3. I contend that Stadel’s file cabinet (https://vimeo.com/41227350) is the greatest act 1,2,3 I’ve seen. It gave me chills to watch my students get excited while they watched the last few post-its placed on the cabinet. You can not deliver that lesson as well with a picture.

  3. on 19 May 2012 at 8:40 amDan Meyer

    Dan Anderson:

    Do the stats show video is more perplexing than pictures because of the moving images and audio? Or could it be skewed because the average video took more thought to create (or cut), edit, and upload. Does more effort and thought on behalf of the uploader indicate more perplexity?

    I’m not sure I have any idea. Some of the videos are remarkably incoherent. What’s weird also is the videos often get unfairly penalized. There are people like Bowman Dickson who can’t watch video on his slow Internet connection in Jordan, so he skips them. There are people on Firefox 12 for whom the videos show up as just a black box, so they skip them. There are people who just skip videos on principle.

    And yet here we are.

    Nathan Kraft:

    I don’t feel like wasting a minute of my life watching the whole thing.

    I shudder to imagine a 101questions without the 1-minute constraint on videos.

  4. [...] Dan Meyer’s 101 Questions – According to Meyer, people use Google to find answers to questions. 101questions is a website that hosts a lot of questions. Meyer hosts visuals to evoke wonder and questioning. [...]

  5. on 21 May 2012 at 10:42 amMichael

    Remind me how you determine the perplexity score, please. Thank you.

  6. on 21 May 2012 at 12:02 pmDan Meyer

    Questions / (Skips + Questions)

    The percent chance your photo or video will provoke a question, in other words.

  7. on 21 May 2012 at 12:10 pmTimon Piccini

    I love megalodons! The process of estimating their size is soooooo interesting. I’d love to add this video to my megalodon lesson.

  8. on 21 May 2012 at 10:14 pmTech Ed-dy » Planning for being away

    [...] I did have fun with my Problem of the Week.  The problem came from Dan Meyer‘s great website 101 Questions.  I used EduCreations to create three different screencasts and I scheduled each one to appear one [...]

  9. on 22 May 2012 at 6:00 amJerzy

    Dan: “There are people … who can’t watch video on his slow Internet connection … for whom the videos show up as just a black box … who just skip videos on principle.”
    Sounds like the can’t-see-video skips are qualitatively different from i’m-bored-skips, and thus would be biasing the videos’ scores. Would it make sense to augment the Skip and Submit buttons with a third button for “Can’t see / won’t watch video”?

  10. on 22 May 2012 at 6:02 amJerzy

    (…and then leave that 3rd category out of the perplexity score.)

  11. on 22 May 2012 at 11:37 amElizabeth

    I want to say first that the 101Questions posts and questions are really fun. Kudos to all who have participated––I wish I had more time to explore.

    But… am I imagining it, or are the participants (posters and respondents) mostly male? I’d love to be wrong about this. If I’m not wrong, then why would that be the case? And more importantly, has anyone noticed whether there is there any difference in class participation between female and male students when these are used in class?

  12. on 22 May 2012 at 5:58 pmNathan Kraft

    I don’t get the strong male bias either. I think we can go one step further and suggest that 101qs doesn’t just have an abundance of guys, but an abundance of nerdy guys (myself excluded). I saw one guy upload a video clip from a video game called “Portal”.
    I have used these pictures/videos in class and never noticed a difference in motivation between male and female students. I’m also working on a survey for my students to let them decide which 101qs entries are the most interesting to them (Early tests show that Timon’s dominos are still highly ranked – although his big Coke bottle is a bit of a letdown). I can look to see how males/females responded.

  13. on 22 May 2012 at 7:07 pmDan Meyer

    Jerzy:

    Sounds like the can’t-see-video skips are qualitatively different from i’m-bored-skips, and thus would be biasing the videos’ scores. Would it make sense to augment the Skip and Submit buttons with a third button for “Can’t see / won’t watch video”?

    The simplicity of the site is a crucial asset and I’m inclined to protect it. If the videos were getting slaughtered in the rankings, I’d consider it. I don’t think the can’t-see-video effect is all that high, though.

  14. on 22 May 2012 at 7:10 pmIanR

    Just FYI– All here might be interested in a chem ed paper of the same ilk. Chemistry’s hard because you can’t see what you’re talking about (molecules and atoms), but it’s the same idea.

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed1009943