TOTW: Students

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emyerson
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Posted Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:33AM
"We don't need no education."
- Pink Floyd

Ahh, the halcyon days of school: the schoolyard, the sound of the morning bell, the Mystery Meat on Thursdays. Education and Students are a big content area on iStock, so we're going to devote a few TOTWs to discussing the various terms related to the education field.

This is a content area, by the way, that has a strong personal resonance for me. In 2004, I was working for the local university, in their College of Education. I was tasked with creating an interactive learning module that needed about two dozen images of schools, students, classrooms, and teachers. We owned one CD of stock images, and we'd already used and reused most of those shots ad nauseum. I googled "inexpensive stock photography", found myself at some site called iStockphoto. The rest, as they say, is history.

In our examination of education terms, we'll start with a look at "Student". It seems like this is an easy term to define and use, but surprisingly it gets misused a lot. The term, simply, is meant to be used for people engaged in learning, or who are easily identifiable as being learners.

Good Uses
The best uses for "Student" would be those images that show the individual in the context of learning. Here are some good examples. In each of these shots, the classroom or homework context firmly identifies the people as students:

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Iffy Uses
Images that show people in an ambiguous context are possible matches for "Student". I waffled over using "Student", for instance, on the following image because it didn't scream "Student":

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In the end, I decided to allow it, because the setting is a classroom, and because I didn't also try to use the kinds of terms that would indicate a different group of people ("Business Team", "Club", "Youth Organization", etc). On a borderline image like this, keywording troubles begin when the contributor tries to make the image serve multiple purposes.

Other iffy uses of "Student":

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More of a conceptual than a literal image of a "Student". "Student" will never really become the top term for this file, but it's an OK fit.

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This is a different kind of student - the adult student not in a typical school setting, but in a continuing education or corporate training setting. "Student", again, may never rise to the position of most relevant term for this file, but it is acceptable.

This brings up an interesting side note. We don't have CV terms for the types of students that one might encounter outside of primary, secondary, and collegiate schools; Students such as karate students, student drivers, or distance learning students (though there may be non-CV terms for some of these). For these kinds of "non-education" students, "Student" may still be an applicable term, but it's important to show learning in those cases. This karate practitioner, for instance, is not a good match for "Student", mainly because he's not being shown as a student:

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Bad Uses
The most common inappropriate use of "Student" is on images of young people not shown with any kind of learning or education context. The following are not good matches for "Student" (and of course, they don't have that term):

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Lovely pictures all, but none of them is a "Student". Another set of images that tends to get the term are education images that don't contain an actual student. Remember that "Student" is a human role, so we should really see some sign of an actual person. These are not "Student" images:

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Any questions, class? Let's discuss.

(Edited on 2010-10-18 11:37:34 by emyerson)
emyerson
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Posted Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:41AM
And, as always, all images used as examples in this thread have been done so with permission of their owners.
onfilm
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Posted Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:41PM

Thanks for the article - nothing too controversial to argue over! Maybe you could do something similar for 'businessman'?


I won't single out any photos in particular of those above - suffice it to say I looked at 4, and all had wrong or questionable keywords. 'Fashion model' seems popular, although I don't see any evidence. I'm also interested in the difference between 'Portrait' and 'Fine Art Portrait' having seen these terms used. (The latter was new to me as a CV phrase, but I won't give my usual gripe about how we are supposed to discover all the CV phrases ).
emyerson
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsMember is an InspectorExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Flash ArtistExclusive iStockphoto Audio ArtistMask of the Plata Bigote - Member has won between 4 and 6 Steel Cage matchesForum Moderator
Posted Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:22PM

Thanks for the comments, Adrian. I personally edited all of the examples before I posted them, but it's possible that the edits haven't been reflected yet in the database. I'll double check them all in a little while to see if there are still issues.


"Businessman" would be a good one for a future installment. I'll make sure our bulk editor is warmed up and firing on all cylinders before I tackle that one.
Willowpix
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Posted Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:01PM
Good topic and explanations Ethan. Thanks!
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