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Posts Tagged ‘wikipedia

Earlier this week, The Verge was one of many news sources to report that YouTube was going to link conspiracy theory videos to Wikipedia content as a fact checking measure.

Wikipedia confirmed in an official statement that YouTube did not tell Wikipedia about this move. This led at least one observer to remark “relying on the free labor of others is precisely how this whole game works”.

My observation is that this is just like how journals rely on university faculty to write articles for free, get other faculty to review them for free, then sell the published articles back to both sets on universities for exorbitant fees.

Why on earth do some of the smartest people on earth allow this to happen? Inertia. If schools move like molasses, universities progress like glaciers.

However, there is hope. Not only are open journals part of the Open Educational Resources movement, some academics are kicking back, as they should!

If you give away your work openly for free, then that is being generous. If someone else makes money off your efforts, then they are unethical. If you keep letting that happen, then that is being stupid.


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When I was researching statistics on Wikipedia last year for my book chapter on wikis, there were 10 million articles on Wikipedia in 260 languages. Today, there are 15 million articles in 270 languages. All thanks to these “weird” and wonderful Wikipedians!

It is creating, critiquing, connecting and collaborating at its best! So enjoy this tongue-in-cheek look at Wikipedians from an insider.

Microsoft Encarta Officially Succumbs to Wikipedia. Is this an April Fools’ joke?

If not, then I say it is about time! Power to the people and user-generated content!

If so, I think that it will happen eventually because it is simply a sign of the way people prefer to learn now. BTW, Karl Kapp had a few interesting thoughts on how information was locked up in LMS (Learning Management Systems) and compared this to the music industry.

How could I not blog about something that three Tweeters I am following mentioned?

If you visited The Guardian, you might have come across this headline: Pupils to study Twitter and blogs in primary schools shake-up. Of course the headline was sensationalistic, but it was quite accurate too.

I think that the bottom line was not so much that primary school kids in the UK might embrace more technology in school. The fact is that they will be using more RELEVANT technologies in their schools. This will force teachers to update their pedagogies because if they don’t they will soon discover that old methods do not necessarily allow new or better forms of learning to take place.

And of course various stakeholders feel threatened. There’s not enough coverage of history or the learning of drama for example. But at the end of the day we should not be looking at what is important to us in the short term, but what is important to the kids for the long term. We should be preparing them for their future, not our past.

Am I going to wait for the Singapore educational system to play catch up? Obviously not. I am preparing preservice teachers under my care to think and teach progressively. Time will tell if I am right.

According to Tech Yahoo! an organisation known as the Stanton Foundation is giving Wikipedia money to “create ways to make it easier for people to add their knowledge” to the online encyclopedia.

The purpose of the grant is to encourage people who are less tech-centric but knowledgeable in their fields to contribute to the shared pool of information.

The grant will fund a team at the Wikimedia offices in San Francisco. Team members are to pinpoint what commonly prevents people from making Wikipedia entries and then eliminate those obstacles.

Are wikis that difficult to edit? I doubt that the resistance to edit is solely or largely due to technical inability. It’s got more to do with mindsets, expectations, personal philosophies on how people learn, and egos.

No amount of money is going to make a difference if they don’t try to address those issues. Maybe no amount of money can address those issues!

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, thinks that “public collaboration over the Internet is still only in its infancy“. Sad, but true.

I think that is because there aren’t many people who understand what collaboration means. Like most things, the technology is not the rate determining step; it is the people. The tools for collaborating online already exist and they will get even better over time. I think we need to rethink the mindsets and conditions for collaboration.


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