Jimmy Wales – Knowledge Sharing Panel

After the lunch, we were introduced to a panel representing the various sectors by Mark Pesce, the panel moderator. He spoke briefly to set the scene and had some really good things to say. He mentioned that there are issues in the way we learn in relation to the concept of knowledge sharing. Two key questions to consider - What is the truth? Who do you trust? He showed us the various models from the web - Wikipedia, distribued authority, then Britannica, centralised authority but walled (access for $6.95 a month), Citizendium, only approved authorities may contribute but when authority is concentrated, it slows down knowledge creation, Conservapedia, a creationist viewpoint and Uncyclopedia, a parody. Conservapedia was cited as an example of a special interest group, working to shape knowledge to suit their aims. Peer produced content has the potential to free knowledge latent within the community.

Notes from the panel with the task of answering the posed question - What are the practical and philosophical challenges for peer-produced knowledge sharing technology?
Librarian viewpoint - online collections that encourage input from the community, mediated for high standards and accessibility in search terms, using a combination of folksonomies and subject headings.
Industry - kids today are well versed in media literacy but how do young people get the chance to tell their story?
University - Wikipedia challenges the traditional role of unis and the traditional process of knowledge creation. The good thing is that Wikipedia cites its sources which is good academic process.
High School - (the smoothly spoken Peter Ruwoldt) Teachers are connected to concepts of peer publishing, using the constructivist theory which is about building on previous knowledge. There is more scope for constructivist learning than before but the "filtering system" blocks the opportunity for peer publishing. The filters in school brings us back to Web 1.0 level which is a shame because we could have had a cool learning environment via low cost web based tools.
Student - Wikipedia changes the way he works at school, but it needs more contributors from the generations who aren't so technology savvy but as more people get older and more experienced, there is opportunity for the resource to really grow.

The final task was to do some knowledge sharing within our table group. This is best explained via the final three images - the task, the group and our solution. task.jpgideas.jpg

More after my brain marinates in the ideas of peer publishing and knowledge sharing/ creation - I know that many edubloggers are already in this world but how do we bring the majority of classroom teachers along for the ride?

Tag:  eduausem2007

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4 thoughts on “Jimmy Wales – Knowledge Sharing Panel

  1. mseyfang

    I was thinking about the slides Mark used to take us thru the various ‘pedia’ sites you mention above – he showed what appeared to be the first paragraph on ‘kangaroo’ for each of the sites. The entry from conservapedia was by far the most absurd, either funny or scary depending on your point of view.

    I went back through the ‘kangaroo’ page for each site and found that Mark had used more than a touch of spin to make his point. The first paragraph from each of the other sites looked similar to what I remember flashing up on the big screen, but for conservapedia I had to scroll down to the most bizzarre paragraph in the ‘origins’ section of the article.

    I do seem to recall Mark saying a phrase that included the words origin and section, but I was rather dissapointed that my first impression was so skewed by this bit of editorial spin in presentation.

    Nice summary post by the way – shame it’s licensed with NC and SA as I would like to be able to use it for a mashup I am planning to do for education.au. (I know I could ask you for permisison, but isn’t not having to the whole point of open content??)

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Graham Wegner

    I suppose it depends on your interpretation of not-for-profit, Mike, but unless you are producing something for sale as another product, using my content in mashup doesn’t contravene the spirit of the license (I think) and share-alike just means that your mash-up can be re-mashed up again by someone else. You don’t need my permission – I suppose the interpretation can be a bit fuzzy around the edges and I’m no copyright guru, just an educator trying to step away from outright ownership.

  3. sseus

    Thanks for your summary of the afternoon Graham!

    Hearing the founder of Wikipedia talk about his vision and beliefs puts ‘all things wiki’ in a new light for me. From now on I’ll use wikipedia with greater knowledge and understanding and with a sense of personal connection.
    Jimmy Wales morning presentation really brought to life what ‘knowledge creation” looks like, both the traditional and emerging processes. I wish every teacher librarian could have participated. How fortunate we are to have access to a rich diverse knowledge landscape.

  4. Lindajay

    While I would have loved to the the presentation by Jimmy Wales, the commentary is a good reflection which I have read with interest. I am also impressed with the efforts of some to check the details they were presented and to see the spin which can sometimes be used by presenters.

    All in all a great example for students and lots for eduactors to mull over. Thank you.


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