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Monday, June 7, 2010

Internet Skills

Last week, I heard about another teacher telling students their papers would be discarded if they used Wikipedia.

Dana wrote about the teacher in Texas confiscating open source software CDs since they were “stolen” and “unlicensed.”

Journalists dismiss bloggers for lack of “professionalism.”

People complain about not being able to trust unrecognized sources of information and then complain about the egregious errors of the “real” news sources.

Here’s the deal:

The internet gives us incredible access to a lot more information than we grew up with. The key internet skill is not finding the information, but learning how to tell the good from the bad.

What if that student who is not allowed to use the Wikipedia (that her teacher doesn’t understand) had to build and curate a Wikipedia entry instead of a term paper? She would get feedback from thousands of interested scholars, instead of depending on one lost academic.

What can you share that have you learned about finding the good stuff?


  1. Now this is something I can definitely I have a comment. I FINALLY graduated from college in 2007 and have the student loans to prove it and as I might add, magna cum laude. I guess age is a good teacher but I digress. My university came out with an official policy banning the use of Wikipedia as a source in papers. They claimed that anyone could put unsubstantiated supposive "facts" on this website making it unreliable as a source. I found Wikipedia to be a great source of information even though I couldn't use it. I used the references given in the entries instead.... that gave me both good references and also a larger number of them. The joke was on them (the university for being so stupid).

    There is a wealth of information on the internet and while Wikipedia may be a good source, there are many others that are unreliable. One should consider the author and his/her background and creditentials when using a source. I did do this and would trust others to use the same judgement.

  2. ROFLOL!

    I guess if you try to hold back progress you look dumber and dumber. But you get tenure.

    Great story, Randy! Thanks!

  3. I think it's about critical thinking not if Wikipedia is a viable resource, teachers need to teach students how to make intelligent choices not just point them to The answer.

  4. Well said, Jim!

    Thank you for commenting!