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The Most Popular Education & Technology Content of 2015 (Thanks Buzzsumo!)

by Kelly Walsh on December 30, 2015

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A Little Year End Fun, and a Powerful Tool to Gauge Interest and Find Popular Content

When I want to know what the buzz is on the Internet about a certain topic or phrase, I often head over to Buzzsumo.com. All you need to do is enter the word or phrase, hit ‘Enter’, and peruse the results. Buzzsumo lists web content ranked by popularity, based on shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

By default, Buzzsumo looks back 1 year, but you can tweak that to look back a day, a week, a month, etc. It’s really pretty interesting to see what kinds of content is getting shared for a specific topic. Give it a try … enter anything. It can be something related to academics or any other field, something related to pop culture, a new meal you want to try (Turducken, anyone?), whatever!

Below I list the most popular shares that contained the word “Education”, and shares with the word “Technology”, as examples. It is not obvious to me how Buzzsumo is tying the word or phrase I am searching to the content, but assume it is a logical algorithm, as the content is always relevant to the search phrase. I often learn a good deal perusing these results, and frequently get a laugh or two!

There are limits to how many times you can use Buzzsumo without signing up and creating an account. With a free account, you can do a lot, and for those who find this functionality worth leveraging further, there are paid options. But for a quick look at what is popular in the world of social media, Buzzsumo is super quick and easy, and free.

Most popular shares for “Education” in 2015

Can We Guess Your Level Of Education?
(430M shares)
This was the most popular share by far, with millions of reposts on popular social media channels, sourced from different sites. I am assuming the link I’ve share may have been the original, since it had the most shares (over 4.3 million!). By the way, the questions are pretty easy, and bright young students can easily score a “Phd” rating (which lead to a fair number of comments about how this must have been designed for us dumb Americans).

I got Spelling Master! Can you correctly spell the top 20 misspelled words?
(734K shares)
This is really kind of fun, with lots of frequently used words that are hard to spell. Go ahead, give it a try!

The 61 Best Teacher Memes On The Internet
(654K shares)

I challenge you to look these over and not chuckle a few times. Here’s an amusing example :):

Justin-Timberlake-hey-girl

How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus
(630K shares)

This article discussed how college students are asking for ‘protection’ from words and ideas they don’t like, and goes on to explain why this a terrible idea for education, and for mental health.

Key and Peele sportscenter teacher parody: New sketch imagines teachers as athletes (VIDEO)
(593K shares)
This sketch, “TeachersCenter”, is a hilarious parody of SportsCenter’s “hyperbole-laden talking heads, busy CGI ticker screens, and obsessive play-by-plays”. It brilliantly reimagines teachers being treated with the respect and financial gravitas of today’s athletes.

Obama Announces End Of ‘No Child Left Behind’ Era: Education Is More Than Tests
(528K shares)

“In an announcement which is sure to cause celebration among America’s educators, the Obama administration called for an end of the era of over-testing and back to more sensible, informed approaches to education.”

The First Question This Teacher Asks Her Students Every Day
(523K shares)

This is really rather heartbreaking, but I know many of you can relate to it. Kindergarten teacher Sonya Romero-Smith explains, “When they first come in my door in the morning, the first thing I do is an inventory of immediate needs: Did you eat? Are you clean?” Click the link and read on for the full story.

Most popular shares for “Technology” in 2015

Here are some of the top shares from the last year.

Photographer Removes Phones From His Images To Show How Addicted We’ve Become
(451K shares)
A thought-provoking look at how technology-addicted we’ve all become.

Cool-guy high school teacher leads ‘Uptown Funk’ dance party
(390K shares)
This is a ton of fun, and it’s pretty cool to see that one of the most popular technology stories of the year was based on teaching!

Hard-Hitting Nature Valley Ad Shows The Terrifying Side Of Kids Addicted To Technology
(329K shares)
Striking a similar note to the first piece above, here we see again the huge changes information and communication technology is bringing to the average individual, with the youngest being impacted the most. Even as a tech-advocate, I have to strongly agree with the sentiment … put down the phone and get outside more often.

Samsung’s ‘Safety Truck’ Shows The Road Ahead On Screen So Drivers Can Pass It
(282K shares)
This is a pretty cool application of technology. “According to Samsung’s video, almost one person dies in a traffic accident every hour in Argentina, so the need for something like their ‘Safety Truck’ is definitely there.”

How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life
(261K shares)
The 30 year old Senior Director of Corporate Communications was tweeting what she felt were harmless jokes, but her last one was a huge mistake that blew up in her face and changed the course of her life. Just one more reminder that we all need to take care with what we say on line.

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded EmergingEdTech.com. He frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, regularly running Flipped Class Workshops online. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Walsh became the Community Administrator for the Flipped Learning Network in June of 2016. In his "spare time" he also writes, records, and performs original music ... stop by kwalshmusic.com and have a listen!

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, or those of other writers, and not those of my employer. - K. Walsh]

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