View the EDTECH Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in EDTECH's April 2010 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in EDTECH's April 2010 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the EDTECH home page.
Jim, I'm shocked to read your opinion of Wikipedia. I've seen, in many college course syllabi, a specific warning about using Wikipedia as a source. The academy understands what Wiki is - but as Bruce and Jeff observe, it's not about direct research, it's about a starting point. The best articles feature numerous citations. I was doing research on a German World War II military unit history, and tried Googling the subject matter. The search provided a plethora of links, but the information was extremely disjointed as these private-interest sites tended to focus on very specific aspects of this unit. Links from Wikipedia, however, fed me to *actual German army reports* that were of *much* greater academic value. Wikipedia is written by people who are passionate about their subject matter, and who correct misinformation religiously. If a topic become too "hot" due to some recent controversy in the news, Wiki locks the article down until the furor has died off. This combination of self-policing and sound management are why Wikipedia is so respected in the web-savvy community. Children are only being done a disservice by a blanket filter against Wikipedia. It can be the root of many valuable lessons per taking online information with a grain of salt. The sooner this is learned, the better, because the current generation and those to follow will be spending marked amounts of their time "living online." >> On Tue, 6 Apr 2010, Jim Beal wrote: >> >> It is interesting that so many people are willing to accept Wikipedia. >> By >>> its own admission: >>> >>> " Users should be aware that not all articles are of encyclopedic >>> quality >>> from the start: they may contain false or debatable information. Indeed, >>> many articles start their lives as displaying a single viewpoint; and, >>> after >>> a long process of discussion, debate, and argument, they gradually take >>> on a >>> neutral point of view reached through consensus." >>> >>> Further: >>> >>> "Allowing anyone to edit Wikipedia means that it is more easily >>> vandalized >>> or susceptible to unchecked information.." >>> >>> So, at any given time, any article could be wholly inaccurate or false. >>> >>> >>> Consensus of anyone, regardless of education, does not make for useful >>> information for knowledge construction. If this is indeed valuable, >>> then we >>> can dispense with peer review journals. In fact, we can dispense with >>> all >>> research and education in general, since all we have to do is let people >>> post information and come to a consensus on it. >>> >>> Being a technology discussion group, I think sometimes we get blinded by >>> the technology. >>> >>> I think we need to educate students about Wikipedia and other web 2.0 >>> technologies, but not have them use them for research. >>> >>> Last, I am wondering which grade levels people are using Wikipedia in. >>> Certainly not high school level, which should be looking beyond simple >>> encyclopedia articles. Probably lower and middle and elementary school >>> students. >>> >>> >>> James W. Beal, Ed.D. >>> Director of Technology >>> Somonauk Community Unit School District #432 >>> >>> ---------------------------------------------- >>> Education is not what you think you have learned. >>> It is how you have learned to think. >>> -- Dennis C. Scimeca Instructional Technologist Department of Online Teaching and Learning Simmons College School for Health Sciences (617)521-2520 --- Edtech Archives, posting guidelines and other information are at: http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~edweb Please include your name, email address, and school or professional affiliation in each posting. To unsubscribe send the following command to: LISTSERV@H-NET.MSU.EDU SIGNOFF EDTECH