Just Say No to Wikipedia
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
A middle school librarian in New Jersey has gotten some media attention for her anti-Wikipedia campaign:
Linda O'Connor regards Wikipedia the same way former first lady Nancy Reagan campaigned against drugs. . . . She put up a sign saying "Just Say No to Wikipedia" over the computers in the school library. . . . Wikipedia is blocked on all computers in the Warren Hills Regional School District.
I'm highly skeptical.
If the district is going to take a principled stand against Wikipedia because some information is biased or incorrect, is it also taking out all of the encyclopedias (which research has shown, on average, to be as inaccurate as Wikipedia)? Is it removing all of the news magazines and newspapers? The article makes a big deal about how school librarians preview materials before they're placed on the shelves, but I can guarantee you that librarians and media specialists do not have time to screen every word of every incoming publication. They miss errors and biases just like the Wikipedia community does. Also, it's ludicrous to pretend that the school library vetting process is free of bias. Oh, and I challenge you to find a school library that doesn't have old, outdated (and thus inaccurate) non-fiction and/or reference materials on its shelves.
This is all of a bunch of hooey. This shouldn't have even been a story. When is the Associated Press going to run this story?
Schools teach kids how to wisely and appropriately navigate 21st century information channels
Or this one?
New Jersey school district blocks kids from using one of the most important and powerful information resources in existence because of mistaken beliefs about inaccuracy and bias
Or maybe this one?
Wikipedia is an amazing contribution to the body of human knowledge. New Jersey school district says 'No thanks.'
Or is it asking too much of the newspaper press to avoid bias by showing the other side of this issue?
The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.
- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
- The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
- Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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