There’s much talk from the educational technology community about both Wikis and Web 2.0, as well as about the use of third-party applications or sites such as Wikipedia. There’s also been a fair amount of excitement about my Murder, Madness, and Mayhem project.

But I notice that in practice not many of these folk are very active on Wikipedia itself. Look for instance at the edit histories of BrLamb (talk about modest!), Nessman, Jgroom (more respectable, that), or even Downes (perhaps especially these three edits!).

So I officially and publicly issue my Wikipedia EduTech challenge: that representatives of the EduTech community work on any one of the many lamentably poor articles in their field, and get them up to at least Good article status, ideally Featured article status, within the next sixty days.

Better than simply lamenting their awfulness, eh?

I issue this challenge to the following individuals: Gardner Campbell, Stephen Downes, Barbara Ganley, Jim Groom, Brian Lamb, Scott Leslie, Alan Levine, Chris Lott, D’Arcy Norman, and David Wiley.

Obviously, others should feel free to join in (Henry Jenkins? I know he’s seen this page…), but that’s already quite a team. Sixty days is generous!


Wikipedia logo“Was introducing wikipedia to the classroom an act of madness leading only to mayhem if not murder?”

At present, wikipedia hovers at the fringes of academia, like an unwelcome ghost. Wikipedia’s aims are eminently academic, concerned with collecting, storing, and transmitting knowledge. Judging by the number of the site’s articles and readers, it has been remarkably successful at promoting a culture of intellectual inquiry. Yet it is fairly consistently derided by academics themselves.

Still, everybody uses it, in one way or another, even if they might want not to admit to the fact. Above all, our students use it, openly or otherwise (as they are often explicitly told not to cite wikipedia article in term papers), but without necessarily knowing how it works. They are told that wikipedia is bad, but they are not often told why; and of course, they find it an incredibly useful resource.

Read more…