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Day 118: Tenets of Wikipedia March 5, 2010

Posted by garvoille in Uncategorized.

1. Wikipedia FM. We listened to some radio programs to learn more about Wikipedia. Listen to them here:

Listen to an introduction to Wikipedia on All Things Considered.

Listen to a story about the co-founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, on Fresh Air.

As students listened, they doodled about the important ideas they heard to improve their comprehension. Each student doodled in either red, blue, orange, green, or yellow, which was important for the next part of class.  As they listened, I circulated to check their Academic Contracts and collect their YA Novel Research forms.

2. Research on the 5 Pillars of Wikipedia. We went to the computer lab to research the principles of Wikipedia. Each students was assigned one principle, or pillar, to research and then teach the class about. Students will prepare for and teach the class about their pillar on Tuesday. Students took notes on the Tenets of Wikipedia Guide, which is due on Tuesday.

HW: Tenets of Wikipedia Guide due Tuesday.



1. Gregory Kohs - March 6, 2010

Why is the media and blogosphere so inept that it insists on calling Jimmy Wales “the founder of Wikipedia”. That’s just a lie — a big, fat lie.

Dr. Larry Sanger brought the wiki idea and architecture to the failing project Nupedia. Wales didn’t think it would work. He laughed with skepticism, but he nonetheless installed some wiki software on his company’s server for Sanger. Sanger named the new feeder project “Wikipedia”. And Sanger developed and nurtured most of the guidelines and policies that still undergird Wikipedia today.

Indeed, for several years Wales and the Wikimedia Foundation officially called Wales “co-founder”, as it should be. But, after about 2004, Wales felt that he could earn more money in speaker’s fees if he crafted a fib that he was “the founder” or, even more ridiculously, the “sole founder” of Wikipedia. Now, it seems, nobody can get the truthful history to stick.

For shame.

2. garvoille - March 11, 2010

Hi Mr. Kohs,

So flattering to have you worked up over my 120 teenagers in Durham. If you have any ideas for improving the curriculum, I’m open to your thoughts. It seems you are an expert in the field. However, before dismissing my project as indoctrinatory or spinning it as disdainful, please read its defense published by the Association for Advancement of Computing in Education: http://rebelliousreader.blogspot.com/2009/04/writing-wikipedia-pages-in.html.

3. Gregory Kohs - March 11, 2010

All fine and dandy, until the day you come to realize that Wikipedia isn’t what you think it says it is. Good luck. Here’s hoping your kids don’t come out damaged by the eventual disillusionment they’ll experience.

Will you be introducing the youngsters to Wikipedia’s policy of supporting pedophiles?


Will you be introducing the students to Wikipedia’s use as a public means of breaking up with your mistress?


Will you determine if the children understand why the Wikimedia Foundation decided not to be a true membership organization?


Yes, good luck to you.

4. Gregory Kohs - March 12, 2010

It would seem rather inefficient for me to provide any additional ideas for you, seeing how you have deleted my earlier comment here. How does that fit in with what you said about students posting a checked draft to Wikipedia, where “it would be saved forever in the history of an article”?

I guess your blog doesn’t hold to that same wonderful attribute of permanence.

garvoille - March 12, 2010

I was concerned you were using my classroom website, designed for students and parents, as a soapbox. I generally try to keep a positive web atmosphere here, but you make a valid point about transparency, so I have restored the comments. It is important for others to see a conversation evolve in real time.

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