Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wikis taking over education

The people who changed the way we look up information is now wanting to change the way we get an education according to a PC World report. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., the people who bring you Wikipedia are now building a school using online collaboration. Most media specialists I know are probably now convinced this is a sign of the end of civilization as we know it because they despise Wikipedia. Critics of Wikipedia claim the information cannot be considered valid because anyone can edit articles on the site. However, David Warlick said at a conference I attended that Wikipedia should be a starting point of research. Find the information then the assignment should then try to prove or disprove the Wikipedia entry.

I digress. The coordinators are claiming the Wikiversity project is growing. The project has free online courses complete with free materials. The idea is to not only provide free education opportunities but to try different theories in education to see what works and what doesn't. This the part the that should interest the education community. Educators need to monitor this project to gain ideas on what works in online learning. Distance learning and online learning have rapidly become buzzwords in conferences and high level discussions. From credit recovery, to alternative learning environments, to helping children who can't get to school, online learning is getting a serious look with lots of money being spent to create these opportunities. Perhaps the Wikiversity project will be a low cost, low risk means of study. Just don't tell the Media Specialists.

Wikiversity Gains Momentum (PC World)

PC World - The online collaboration that has made Wikipedia one of the most used sources of information on the Internet is also being used to build a school and offer classes across the online world, and the project is taking off.

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