Sunday, April 24, 2011

Flat Classroom Chalenge #8 Bonus! Edit Wikipedia

Do: Join wikipedia and edit a topic that you are knowledgeable about. Before editing, familiarize yourself with the talk page and engage in discussions there. Note that some pages on wikipedia require one to earn a certain “status” or trust level on Wikipedia and information posted in error could cause you to be banned from the site as an editor. Follow the topic for several days.

Share: On your blog reflect on editing Wikipedia. How can students be prepared to contribute in a world where increasingly those who edit and converse succeed and those who consume information without contributing can be left behind?

I was scared to do this. For some reason I was nervous. I joined wiki and I felt like I was part of something very special and powerful. I am now part of a community that is a perfect example of crowd sourcing. 

I had to think about what I wanted to add. I was not sure. I went with the latest book I just finished which was the book to Waiting For "Superman". I chose this for no other reason than it was fresh on my mind. I checked out the history and how things had unfolded on this page prior to me. I kept the edit simple. I added only a sentence or two. It was a great experience. It made me appreciate Wiki even more. I cannot believe how much edits and research and back channel talk to make things right and accurate. 

The feelings I felt about making sure I was correct and accurate is what I want my students to feel. I want them to have a personal investment in their work. I know that if I mess up on Wiki that my image is damaged and I lose respect. I need to find ways to make them have a personal investment in what they are doing.

Additionally, just reading the edits and talk going on some of the pages I was able to learn so much from these discussions. We no longer have to rely on people in our local area, but now we can work with experts from all over the world. It is important to teach our youth about the power they harness and to make sure they utilize their skills. It is our jobs as teachers to teach them their skills and how to put it to good use. 

We have to make the connection that what they students are capable of is important to society and they need to feel that sense of empowerment.

This was a great bonus challenge. I plan on adding to wiki in the future and hopefully as I get more comfortable I will expand on what I share. This was probably my favorite task so far because I felt nervous and I had not felt that for some time in a project.
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