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That was a great video on Wikipedia. I set up an awesome wiki that I was going to have my students contribute information on different cultures. I was then going to assign students to change information on another student's contribution. Each student would then be responsible for removing any false information and keeping factual information. When my administrator said I can use this activity but I would have to remove countries like Afghanistan and other countries facing controversy, I chose not to do the activity. I am a bit on the stubborn side. I am waiting for the right time to use my wiki. I am not into censorship for such activities. I think a country like Afghanistan would be a perfect place for students to understand differences in cultures. http://chrisclementi.pbworks.com/Cultures Such censorship leads to more ignorance. Chris Clementi Middle School Computer Teacher Google Certified Teacher http://www.kidsnetsoft.com/html/home2.html twitter: kidsnetsoft X-From: Bruce Knox <firstname.lastname@example.org> Jim, I have worked in international schools in two countries for the last 8 years as a tech integration specialist and 12 years before that in Australian private schools and have used wikipedia across all grade levels K-12. It is a fantastic place to start researching from as invariably there are useful links at the bottom of each article for students to continue researching from, and with regard to researching I extol the "verify with 3" mantra. Whatever site you are looking at, find the same information in 3 credible sites before you decide to use it. I have to admit that I was astounded to hear that such a useful site for both information and process (my excitement relates to the process aspect of it, agreeing with Jeff) was filtered. Interestingly, yesterday morning's blog scan led me to a recent Alan November blog post ( http://novemberlearning.com/video-students-building-legacy-with-wikipedia/) that sums up the value of the site (for me anyway!) perfectly. It is a shame that your students are prevented from participating in such a real-world, inspiring project. > Jim: > In my way of thinking, you seem to be a little turned around on a > couple of points in your posting below. > > 1) "..willing to accept Wikipedia..." as what? As a first rate example of > what things happen (and, arguably, what things can be accomplished) when a > bunch of strangers decide to work together without hope of profit or fame? > You betcha! As an impeckable source of information? Perhaps not so much, > though it does surprisingly well even so. But as I've mentioned, it makes > for a really good place to practice critical thinking and content analysis. > No source should be accepted without such, and a flawed one with so much > organized content and popularity just can't be beat for that purpose. > > 2) A platform which supports knowledge construction? I really cannot think > of a better one. But, yes, you're right, we're now talking about the > technology (a platform or vehicle through which people can construct > knowledge). Wikis are potentially powerful knowledge construction tools. > Wikipedia just happens to be the most popular wiki (which, again, has its > advantages). But your remark, "...Consensus of anyone, regardless of > education, does not make for useful information for knowledge > construction..." seriously misses the point. A good Wikipedia article pulls > "useful information" (in the form of citations) from elsewhere, and the > article itself serves the purpose of supporting the construction of > knowledge within it. > > Your mistake is to look at Wikipedia content solely through the eyes > of a researcher. Yes, you should do that, but what's powerful about > Wikipedia is that it isn't just content, it is process. It can, at its best, > cause hundreds of people to, from their perch within a single Wikipedia > article, turn around and look at the rest of the Internet, and all other > knowledge sources, through the eyes of a researcher. That's what's powerful > about the process of constructing knowledge -- not the veracity of a single > source of information in that process. > We're so used to encyclopedias and textbooks being static, fixed, > verifiable and unassailable information sources that we forget that much of > the information they actually contain is NOT static, fixed, often not even > verifiable, and almost never unassailable. So the expectation isn't that a > reference resource should have those qualities, but in what amounts must > they be present for the information to be useful. Wikipedia is simply > embracing that idea, and forcing us to be transparent and collaborative in > its pursuit. Frankly, I'm a big fan. > Jeff > > 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. >> --- 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