Wikipedia in the Classroom

Michele Honeyford from UIndiana working w/Becky Rupert from Aurora Alerntative HS and Rafi from Global Kds working w/ guy form SOmerville

Why Wikipedia: embodies participatory culture (all must believe htey are

Rheingold: “Wikis allow for collaboartive comms that can share knowledge nad ideas w” low tech. barrier

Contested in classroom spaces so brings otgther ?s about content, authority, bloacking/filtering. Also address participation gap (not just digital divide but access divide in learning how ot use and participate) , transparency problem (epistemology! authority, credibility, accuracy, what gets in there and how and why), ethics challenges (copyright, attribution, fair use etc)

2 examples of synergy and conflict:

Teacher listserv and conversation in Becky’s class

Becky taught 5 Moby Dick classes (1 twice , 2 and 3 currently)

Adapted from Rheingold’s Wikipedia exercise. Wanted kids to participate in conversation w/experts. Started on Bloomingpedia (city wiki-learned how to edit, what they wanted to put there, identity as a group). Then moved to Wikipedia (most of them already knew how to edit b/c they used to vandalize it (and got school banned which they had to negotiate). Had to read MD and then made small edits (but important in giving them some voice & agency)

Participatory assessment:

Proximal level assessment of students’ collective

Students wrote answers to written question (35 min) about formalisma like networking, collective intelligence, etc

teacher listserv: what are your feelings about Wikipedia, go you let your students use it, and

discourage it (we pay for better content, not sure students know how produced or if reliable)

Student discussion: Lots of good free info. . .”some might be sily and stuff but a lot of times you’ll find something that’s true [if no one’s messed with it] . . .it’s always good to have that as a second source.” From probable vandalizer!

Not sure students understand Wikipedia? Students: Not just social networking “like MySpace”. . .”informational and intellectual networking”

“Networking is all Wikipedia is. . .sharing info in a dictionary-based setting” “Wikipedia is like a big library that’s constantly changing”

Assumption that reliability is not a concern: students: Fact check! If you’re going to contronute, fact check and then put it up

Wikipedia blocking-has no place in school. Students: Answer to what students are missing: fast access to lots of info; collective knowledge; chance to add to a body of knowledge that;’s biigger than they are. Like to be a part of something.

Listserv comment: check assumptions. If you’re a constructivist then that attitide is at odds. Why less suspcious of editors than volunteers.

Give and take process in editing (what if your contrib gets deleted). Negotiating to

Before silent observer, now tries to better the website.

Global kids

Staed w/Plan A and moved to plan C. Plan A: Wiki Hack. Have them change info, screen grab and then see if anybody noticed. NML intrigued. Blocked so negotiated to open and couldn’t vanadlize after that. Plan B: Create page for class. Background of Wikipedia. Never cite it but use it as background source.

Pick a controversial topic (like Video Game Controversy). Talked to them about content flags and tabs like Discussion and History tabs (look at what was changed and why, issues discussed, etc). Students really got into so that was rest of the session (didn’t create their own page)

Screen grab: Shift+apple+4 (documenting moving source!)

Rafi-Global Kids (Media Masters after school program)

Less analysis and more on production & skills. Create wiki page on Prospect Park campus-framed as social justice issue. no previous entry even stub and lots of issues to talk about. Use the project to become aware of school history but also to give them skills to become critical media producers (point of program)

Focused on three skills: collective intillegence, judgment, networking. First talked about finding, evaluating and synthsizing info. Discussion of how they find credible info online, (heuruistics like .org,goc; layout). Looked at search methodology. Posted a question (what’s poorest state” which search strateguy os best. whoever finds answer first, what strategy do you use to find it.

Iterative process in searhcing; there is not one right way for every search. They had to change their assumptions

Biases in news articles-Al Jazeera, NYTimes, Guardian London

Then actual researhc process-use delicious (#phcwiki). Could use what other epople gathered

Used Etherpad to draft (like Google DOcs, more robust for live editing; each person’s contrbs associated w/a color and represented in real time–created motivation; same w/Google Maps; creating affinity spaces motivate contribution)

Ready to put in Wikipedia page and school was blocked for vandalism.  Got around with mobile modem and each group input their part (into groups) under his IP.

Spent more time on process than prodcut. 6 wk project; half the time was building capacity rather than editing and figuring out community

students said it made production of knoledge more transparent. heatened–really hard to do do if people are doing it they must be doing it pretty well.

Three things: key themse:

  • Desgn frameworks and principles
  • Implementation strategies (dynamic)
  • Challenges to exosting paradigms

PBwiki meshes with Ning

Private, less known, super public-starting with wikispaces, pbWiki etc then moving to Wikipedia

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