Wikipedia is in the top 10 visited online sites by Australians but are you aware of some of the compendium’s cousins? A good critical literacy lesson or 3 could result by investigating the way each of the following Wikipedia clones presents information and positions the reader. I especially like the parody sites ‘Uncylopedia’ and ‘Wickerpedia’. Try typing some or all of the following – ‘evolution’; ‘hippie’; John Lennon’; ‘kangaroo’; and, ‘creationism’ – into the _____pedia below and comparing the way topics are framed and the reader positioned:
I particularly like how John Lennon is parodied in Uncylcopedia (or rather their apparent parody of conservative viewpoints) with the quip that he was the “…foremost advocate of British Communism called Bagism or Beatlemania”. Brilliant, but somehow not quite as funny as how he is framed in Conservapedia.*
Citizendium, a beta site established by one of the founders of Wikipedia, that has the goal of being a “trustworthy free encyclopedia… providing a responsibly governed global community where real-named contributors work under expert guidance and all are accountable”.
*Having students decontruct your own (re)presentation and perspective on any topic can prove to be particularly fruitful (ie. see above commentary on John Lennon) and experience has taught me that students enthusiastically develop their critlit skills when given the opportunity to deconstruct the instructor.
A tough day today. The internet was down all day and the SBR reporting system could not be accessed for more than an hour or two at the height of report season. It is frustrating that staff (and students) are blocked from using many of the Web 2.0 sites I take for granted at home but yet another outage after the email debacle in the first few weeks of term is just depressing.
|mpesce Filtering and blocking is an abrogation of responsibility on the “wisdom of use” – and schools must impart that wisdom!|
|mpesce The kids working at home do things completely differently from what is happening in the classroom – almost scary they’re so far ahead.|
|mpesce Schools talk about Web2.0, but haven’t come to grips with the whole social network thing. How to engage that in learning evnironment?|
Teaching students to use the net appropriately and taking Gilmore’s Law seriously – that the internet routes around censorship – would make more sense.
Watch Pesce’s ‘Gilmore’s Law’ talk to Telstra on my vodpod list (right).
Already it is simple for students to send an attachment with an inappropriate image to or from their DET email into any school but the notion we filter out the what makes the net so useful is just foolish. We don’t ban knives from restaurants because some maniac might plunge your knife threw your heart. If someone breaks the rules society has laws that can be enacted. Look at how amazingly well Wikipedia works with the regulations in place.
The other comment – the ‘scary’ one – is perhaps the heart of our issue. The kids are asked to ‘power down’ to come to school and it is just not the real world. Even if we had all the infrastructure in place across the state in our school system, we do not have enough teachers trained – or understanding the paradigm shift – to staff it…yet!