WikiProject Classroom Coordination

Wikipedia Globe

TeacherJay has long been fascinated with the experiment that is Wikipedia (see previous post). It is still surprising to him that users all over the world have come together to create a body of knowledge that is responsible when it comes to copyrighted information and accurate, insofar as references and citations are included to verify information. In his daily wandering of Wikipedia (he loves that Random Article link), TeacherJay came across the WikiProject Classroom Coordination page and also information on School and University Projects. These two projects are aimed at encouraging teachers to use Wikipedia not as a research tool, but as an authoring tool by creating lesson plans for students to learn how to contribute to the Wikipedia community. Students can research topics and help to revise articles – this could provide them with much-needed support that their work is actually meaningful and will be used by others, as well as instill in them a responsibility in their work.

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It’s Free… Or At Least Free to Me, So What’s Wrong With P2P?, Part 1 (Legality)

Millions of people are using file sharing programs for all sorts of reasons… most of them illegal, such as the downloading of music files in the form of MP3’s or even entire software applications. Today’s post introduces the topic of what peer-to-peer programs are all about, and some of the legal issues surrounding them, for software publishers, users and school networks. Read the rest of this entry »

Safety Text Message

This afternoon a student entered the Queens campus of St. John’s University in New York City with a rifle in his bag. In order to alert staff, faculty and students of the dangerous situation campus officials used text messages. Inspired by the events at Virginia Tech this past Spring, the school implemented the program just this month. TeacherJay wanted to recognize the efforts of the institution for their progressive thinking and putting a common technology to a good use… and for that they receive a gold star.

Failing Schools Pass Students

A recent NY Times article, shows the conflict that exists in the NYC public school system between what a good education should be and the desire to raise graduation rates. The unfortunate consequence is that although many students are receiving diplomas, they are not prepared for college or any world outside of high school. What was, perhaps, designed to be a benefit to students is actually a great disservice. Today’s post looks at some of the effects of such policies and makes some recommendations about what should be done in the future. Read the rest of this entry »

Wikipedia in Education

Wikipedia Globe

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit has become a source of information for millions. The site has close to 2 million articles in English and, while less is offered, is also available in dozens of other languages. Many students at all levels, but especially in high school and college, may use the site for research. Is this a good idea? What do they need to know when evaluating the veracity of Wikipedia articles? How should the site be used responsibly? Should it be ignored altogether? Today’s post gives some suggestions on using the site, but also asks more questions. Read the rest of this entry »