Monday, November 23, 2009

Mini wiki reflection.


I really like wikis, but I am not yet convinced that I am ready to put them to use in my classroom. Undoubtedly the content of wikis surpassing virtually all other sources when it comes to up-to-date reliability and multiple edits for clarity and accuracy.

Personally, just over a month ago, I was at the doctor's office having a minor procedure/test completed by my oral surgeon. Without going into too many details, it was a surgery that he rarely completed in the office and required a very specific procedure. He said that upon speaking with one of his colleagues, he learned that he was supposed to follow a certain protocol for the surgery. Through the many fingers, implements and cotton balls in my mouth, I agreed and reiterated the colleague's instructions. With shock, he asked me how I knew that when he didn't. My garbled answer, "Wikipedia."

I am amazed by how many times I have called upon wikipedia on my mobile phone to settle a discussion, remind myself of a bit of forgotten trivia or add more reliable information to a conversation.

Beyond the fun and trivia, I regularly use wikipedia for personal research, health information, and concise overviews on complex topics. I appreciate the links and references that are included in most entries as they provide next steps to the initial exploration. I remain a little hesitant about further participating in wiki creation, but feel that the mystique around adding information to an existing wiki has been broken down a bit. I look forward to participating in wikis beyond my classroom experiences as well as in work with my students.


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