So I’ve developed a mild to moderate obsession with a game called Quizzo. It’s a live weekly trivia game that’s played at local watering holes in the area. Some friends and I have been going fairly regularly this summer and I have to say, it’s pretty darn fun. Topics range from pop culture to sports to history to more obscure things like the one that kept us from the top of the rankings last night, cheese.
But here’s the thing with Quizzo…no cell phones allowed. The internet is strictly forbidden. All answers must come from our own mental banks of obscure information.
I’ve always loved facts and trivia. My own personal bank of useless info is fairly vast, I’m proud to say. But as an educator, I’ve been thinking. Does trivia have value? Is having a noggin crammed with tidbits and minutiae worth anything in the digital age? As educators we strive to teach students in ways that will develop thinking skills and creativity. We don’t want them Googling questions, and we try like crazy to avoid tests and assessments that have Google-able items on them. Surely some factual knowledge is still worth learning.
Obviously, books still exist (at least as of this writing they do). So I suppose students can build their own mental banks through that. That’s where I got a lot of mine from. But some of it is from school…Mrs. Grant made me learn the US Presidents in order and the states and capitals. Mr. Nuss made me learn the 27 amendments to the constitution. Thanks to Mrs. Jones I know what phylums and protists are. And so on.
Are these still things we should be teaching in school? How do you decide? Is it important to encourage kids to devour information in a way that will help them dominate trivia nights in the future? If you can look anything up on your laptop or phone in a matter of seconds, is there any point in using precious compartments of your brain to store random facts? And will trivia nights exist in a few decades? I certainly hope so, because I found out last night that the trivia league winner gets a trophy.
I know this is a lot of questions; I’m curious to know your thoughts. Be sure to leave a comment and while you’re at it, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you never miss another post!