Sunday, February 14, 2010
EDM Blog #5
Upon reading Tom Regan's NPR blog, I was blown away by the fact that corporations and religious groups made changes to Wikipedia. Then a light came on and I removed my rose colored glasses which seem to get me every time... Once they were off, I wasn't surprised in the least that our government, corporations, and religious groups were altering information on this highly visited site. What a smart brainwashing technique... Then I pondered the topic even further, our government and the above institutions have been rewriting history and changing information that is available to the general public for a very long time. I'm pleased about the fact that Wiki Scanner is available but I'm not pleased about the fact that the general populous is easily misinformed by the information it's being fed in mass quantities. This blog was a sad reminder that whoever has the most power and the most money can do whatever they want which means that they can rewrite history, change information, and hide injustice. This is yet another reason why it's important to teach our students how to think critically and to never be afraid to ask questions or to question authority in a respectful manner. I think its time for me to put back on my rose colored glasses, and head back into a state of naive, blissful ignorance before I develop an ulcer.
NPR Article and Podcast re: Wikipedia Edits and Wiki Scanner
The NPR article and podcast were very well done. They did a great job at explaining exactly how Virgil Griffith's Wiki Scanner works. What a great and necessary tool to keep the integrity of Wikipedia. It wasn't really a surprise that people in powerful positions or people with agendas edited the info on Wikipedia for personal or political gain, it was only a matter of time when this started to happen. I wonder when the first controversial edits occurred? It sickened me that Dow Chemical erased a vast majority of information on environmental disasters that were a result of their corporation, there were many other examples that sickened me as well that I investigated further that I don't have time to mention. I think that this would be a great discussion topic to have in a classroom with middle school students or high school students which would encourage them to think critically about the information that is being presented to them. It may even be interesting to have them find information on Wikipedia and find out who did the editing via use of Wiki scanner... I wonder if any instructors have done this yet in their classrooms or if any of these tech smart kids that we are hearing so much about are doing it already.
Wired "See Who's Editing Wikipedia-Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign"
This article that was based on Virgil Griffith's new invention, "Wiki Scanner" that is able to track those who edit information on Wikipedia via their IP addresses. The article was interested me and angered me at the same time. It was interesting to learn about someone having the tenacity to put such a great tool into action. The article angered me because I was naive to the fact that people in power would change the info on Wikipedia to for their personal gain (even though I should have assumed this was already happening). I suppose that I along with many others wrongly assumed that Wikipedia was a site of academic integrity and a good source of honest information.
I have to admit that I was an avid Wikipedia user before now. I was, as mentioned above, naive and assumed that the information was coming from reliable, unbiased sources. However, now after reading this article and the NPR blog mentioned above, I probably wont be using Wikipedia in the near future. The creation of Wiki Scanner is progress but shouldn't be a replacement for questioning and critical thinking.
What Ive Learned This Year by: Mr. McClung
Mr. McClung's blog was very insightful. It stated a list of do's and don'ts that are based on what he learned as a first year teacher. Some of the do's Mr. McClung mentioned were to communicate, be flexible, read the audience and to be reasonable. Some of the don'ts were to never be afraid of technology, to never stop learning, and to never lose touch with your students. In my opinion the tips that were offered were great. The ideas he mentioned were in my opinion what any effective, caring teacher should do. Teachers should be flexible, should be lifelong learners, they should never lose touch with their students and most importantly they should listen to them. Overall, this blog was a good reminder of the small things a teacher should do in order to be effective in the classroom and to have a positive impact on his or her students.
Comments 4 Kids Week 5
This week I got to comment on Aidan's post in New Zeland. He drew a picture of fruit with kidpix and posted it on his class's blog. He also wrote very descriptive sentences about his drawing. You could tell that he worked really hard on it. His classroom look awesome! There were Macs, and the kids didn't have to wear shoes if they didn't want to. What more could anyone ask for? There were a lot of very great things going on in Room 7. To check them out click on the link below.
Little Voices Little Scholars