Wikipedia and open learning at the Festival of Learning

The BC Festival of Learning is happening next week in Burnaby. This is an amalgam of a number of different workshops and conferences that have been supported by BCcampus; Educational Technology User Group (ETUG), the Open Textbook Summit, and the Symposium on Scholarly Teaching & Learning.

I’ve got a busy week ahead of me, facilitating or participating in a number of different sessions, including a three hour Wikipedia workshop on day 1 with Judy Chan and Rosie Redfield (UBC) and Jami Mathewson from the Wiki Education Foundation.

I am quite excited about this session as this is something I have wanted to see happen at an ETUG for the past few years. I have written about Wikipedia in the past and have been a semi-regular contributor for many years. I also maintain a curated collection where I stuff articles on how educators are using Wikipedia.

Getting ready for the workshop, I’ve been impressed with how much work has been done by the Wiki Education Foundation to help support educators who want to use Wikipedia in their class. The resources available to instructors – from handouts, how-to’s, lesson plans to real live people who can help support them – have really lowered the bar for educators to begin using Wikipedia. This is not the same unsupported landscape for educators as it was 10 years ago when early adopters like UBC’s Jon Beasley-Murray were trailblazing. Full credit to the foundation for making it easier for educators to engage with Wikipedia.

It’s been interesting to watch perceptions of Wikipedia change in higher ed over the years from the days when nobody knew exactly what Wikipedia was, to the backlash forbidding its use by students, to tacit acceptance that it could have a role to play in higher ed, to today where we are seeing active engagement on Wikipedia by many in the academic community interested in exploring open pedagogy.

I have also been heartened to see academics who treat the platform seriously and realize that the worlds largest repository of open knowledge is being heavily used by people in their daily lives. They understand that, as academics, they have an important role to play in helping to maintain the accuracy, breadth and diversity of Wikipedia. Faculty like Dr. James Heilman and Dr. Amin Azzam who regularly correct misinformation on Wikipedia articles about health.

Heading into the world of Wikipedia is not without its risks, as UofT professor Steve Joordens discovered when he had his (1,900!) students start editing Wikipedia articles, flooding the existing Wikipedia volunteer editors with tons of extra work as they had to filter the contributions. Wikipedia is, first and foremost, a community made up of volunteers, and learning to negotiate and engage with that community is just as important as contributing & fixing content. It’s one of the topics we’ll be discussing at the workshop.

Image: Wikipedia by Giulia Forsythe CC-BY


Correcting Wikipedia history on educational radio in Canada

Valerie Irvine and Irwin DeVries are working on a project documenting the history of open education in Canada. If you have run into Irwin in the last few months, chances are you’ve seen him lugging around some video equipment and maybe even tapping you on the shoulder to get a clip on the role you have played in the history of open education and edtech in Canada.

One of the areas where I am hoping to contribute to the project is around the role of educational radio in Canada. While radio courses have a very long and deep history, I find they often get forgotten when the history of edtech and open education comes up.

My personal perspective isn’t historically deep, considering the roots of radio education stretch back to the 20’s in Canada. I only goes back 20 years to the work I did in the mid 90’s at CKMO radio, a campus/community radio station located at Camosun College in Victoria BC. By the time I began working on radio courses there, educational radio was at the end of its run as a robust delivery platform for open courses. Funding for one of the pillars of educational radio stations in Canada, CJRT in Toronto, had just been pulled by the then Conservative government in Ontario, and CKUA in Edmonton was also under severe financial strain.*

However, as shallow as my perspective may be, I know when something doesn’t look quite right, like the Wikipedia article on the Open College  in Toronto (link leads to old version of the page). When I looked at the article this morning, the first sentence popped out at me:

onlyThat is a pretty bold statement considering that, even with my short term 20 year horizon to draw on, I can name at least 2 other radio-based university-credit distance education providers in CKUA in Edmonton and CKMO in Victoria. Both offered open courses on the air and both were accredited; CKUA through Athabasca University and CKMO through Camosun College. CKUA in Edmonton is often credited with being the first radio station to program educational content, starting in 1927.

So, I hit edit and made a change to Wikipedia to fix what, I think, is an inaccurate statement. The first line of the article now reads:

onlyfixNow when people read about the history of Open College, they will see that they were not the only ones doing this. As important as Open College was, there were others doing formal radio based educational programming in Canada.

Update: Grant Potter, also lover of radio and quick on the draw with finding cool stuff on the web, shared this video about the early history of CKUA.

*An aside: CKUA and Athabasca offered up one of the finest explorations of music I’ve ever heard with the fantastic radio course Ragtime to Rolling Stones which, if you listened to it on CKUA in the early 90’s was free to hear. But if you try to access it via the web today….well.)


Happy Birthday Wikimedia Commons

Sunday was a big day for the Wikimedia Commons.

Wikimedia Commons is turning 10 years old this Sunday — will you help celebrate? We’re asking everyone to join the Wikimedia community by sharing a freely licensed image with world.

You know, I have contributed, edited and created Wikipedia articles. And I have spoken of the love I have for higher education researchers & faculty who engage with Wikimedia and create clever and creative methods to add content to Wikipedia and the Commons. But, for some reason, it has never crossed my mind to actually contribute something to the Commons. I do contribute photos to the greater “commons” (the web) via my Flickr account where I license many of my images with a Creative Commons license, but I have never contributed something to the Wikimedia Commons.

So let’s fix that right now….

The Wikimedia Commons maintains a page listing image requests. There are a lot of image requests that post-sec faculty could contribute, especially in the sciences. So, if you have any of these specific images (or any image for that matter) consider uploading it to the Wikimedia Commons and improving the Commons.

Or, you can do what I did and contribute a photo of an historical monument in your community. Right now,  Wikimedia Commons has a contest running encouraging Canadians to upload a photo of a Canadian monument. So, over lunch I poked around the Wikimedia map of heritage monuments in my city, found a couple close to my house, took a walk with my phone, snapped a couple shots of the historical monuments in my neighbourhood and uploaded them to the Wikimedia Commons.

In the process, I even learned a bit about a (what I thought was) common structure that I have seen on a regular basis for close to 20 years going back to when I first started working at Camosun College. Turns out, this structure….

Richmond Road Streetcar Shelter - front

…which I have walked by and through hundreds of times over the past 20 years on my way to work when I worked at Camosun College (and was/is used by students as a smoke shelter), is actually a historically significant structure in my neighbourhood. Apparently, this little structure is a leftover from the days when a trolly used to roll up and down Richmond Road.

The heritage value of the Streetcar Shelter is as one of the last two remaining streetcar shelters in Victoria, the third Canadian city to have streetcars. The Victoria and district streetcar system was inaugurated by the National Electric Tramway and Lighting Company in 1890. The system was later bought in 1897 by the British Columbia Electric Railway (BCER) Company Limited, who operated it until 1948, when streetcars made their last runs. This shelter was constructed to service the Number 10 Streetcar, which made two trips a day to service the University School and then the Provincial Normal School.

I had no idea this little shack I used to walk through to get to work everyday for years was anything more than a fancy smoking structure.

I also grabbed a shot of another heritage structure at that location – the Provincial Normal School, now known as the Young Building at Camosun College, and contributed that.

Provincial Normal School (now known as Young Building)

But I digress because this isn’t about heritage structures. It is about contributing something to the greater good; something with educational value. By contributing to the Wikimedia Commons, I am, in a small way, making a bit of knowledge that much more accessible by making it visible in the web’s largest information repository. And it got me to thinking about why I share and how I share the stuff I create.

Like many of you, the reasons why I share my stuff on the web is multi-facted. To connect with others, to build relationships, to learn. But one of the really important reasons I share on the web is because I am an educator. I want others to be able to use the stuff I share to better understand their world. If a word I write, or a photo I take or a video I make helps someone somewhere understand something a bit better, then I am a happy man.

So, if by now I haven’t subtly encouraged you to contribute to the Wikimedia Commons, let me blatantly say it: contribute something to the Wikimedia Commons (which, right now, sits at around 22 million images in size). I know quite a few people who read this blog on a regular basis who share and contribute their content around the web (sometimes at the cost of using a particular service for free). Well, here is a chance to contribute something to a project that is a) non-commercial and b) educational. Share your content with the Wikimedia Commons and make it a stronger, better repository.


My first published Wikipedia article

A few weeks ago I wrote my very first Wikipedia article. Today I checked and saw that the article was published.

Well, okay, it’s not an actual article. Technically it is a stub.

Shortly after Canadian author Farly Mowat passed away last month I found myself (as I often do on Wikipedia) wandering around from article to article, this time exploring the entries for various classic Canadian authors and books. In my poking around, I noticed a glaring absence – there was no article for the Canadian novel Who Has Seen The Wind by W.O. Mitchell. There is a Wikipedia entry on Mitchell, but nothing about his best known novel. So, I created one.

If you are not Canadian, you might not know this book. But for many Canadian kids (of my generation at least), it was required middle school reading. A coming of age novel set on the Canadian prairies during the 1930’s depression.

That’s pretty well the extent of the article I wrote.  It’s basic, but it is there. Maybe some intrepid middle school teacher who teaches this book can make it an assignment for their students to flesh out the plot of the book as it has been many years since I actually read it and the details of the plot are too fuzzy for me to do any justice to the entry.

Over the years I have edited many Wikipedia articles, but never authored one from scratch. If you have edited an article before and are used to Wikipedia’s interface and writing standards, creating a new article isn’t that difficult. For this, being that it was my first article, I decided to use the Wikipedia tutorial and follow along with it t write the article, er, stub.

writeAnArticleI saw that Wikipedia has an article wizard, so I thought I’d give that a shot to see how easy it might be for someone who has never used Wikipedia before to create an article. I was (pleasantly) surprised to see that Wikipedia has an option to live chat to another volunteer as you go through the process of creating your article. I never used the feature, but love that they have this to make it even easier for people to contribute content to the platform.

WizardWikipedia has broken the process down into 6 basic steps, represented by the tabs along the top: Introduction (which includes the very pragmatic tip: before you create an article, try editing a few first), Subject, Notability, Sources, Content and End.

Subject prompts the author with a Wikipedia search box and asks the author to search Wikipedia to make sure the topic isn’t already covered elsewhere. Once you are sure the topic isn’t in Wikipedia, you are taken to the Notability screen where you are given a brief overview of the criteria Wikipedia uses to decide whether an entry makes it into Wikipedia. Basically, Wikipedia says at this point that you should not submit articles that are about:

This is the bit I wanted to make sure I covered in detail to make sure the article would be accepted. I was a bit worried because. Who Has Seen The Wind is an important regional book in Canada, and I wanted to be sure that I could make the argument to whatever Wikipedian would be reviewing this article that this was, indeed, a notable book worthy of a Wikipedia article.  If a Wikipedian in Japan was reviewing, I wanted them to be able to see, with references, that this was a notable book. Indeed, Wikipedia makes this point directly.

Be sure that by the time the reader finishes reading your article, they will understand why the subject is notable.

Here is how Wikipedia defines notable articles:

A topic is notable if it has been the subject of multiple, non-trivial published works from sources that are reliable and independent of the subject itself and of each other. All topics must meet a minimum threshold of notability in order for an article on that topic to be included in Wikipedia. This requirement ensures that there exists enough source material to write a verifiable, encyclopedic article about the topic.

This is the spot that took the most time. Even thought the article is a stub, I needed to do some research to find information that would support that this was a notable entry. So, I gathered some references (including the IMDB entry about the 1977 movie version of the book which starred Gordon Pinsent. Hey, if they make a movie of it, it has to be somewhat notable, right?)  In the end, I found a few references that supported the notion that this book was, indeed, notable.

Wikipedia also uses this page to remind authors of the neutral point of view policy, and has a warning not to engage in “puffery”

Puffery is when an article attempts to exaggerate the notability of its subject. Puffery only serves to reduce the neutrality of the article and so it should be avoided. The most common type of puffery is the use of peacock terms.

Pickaboo with a Peacock

Finally, you write the article and submit it. At which point, I got a surprising message.

reviewwaitingPeople: Wikipedia needs you.

As it turns out, I don’t think the wait was that long. I started writing the article on May 7 and it looks like it was reviewed and published a week later on the 14th. Not bad at all. I wonder if that was because it was a stub and, therefore, fairly easy to review? Low hanging fruit for some Wikipedian?

I love the fact that the day it was published someone went in and used the info I added about it being adapted into a film to add it to a Wikipedia list on Canadian novels that have been adapted into films.

CanNovelsAll in all, it wasn’t that difficult to do. In about an hour I had written and submitted the article. But that was probably because I have spent the past 5 or so years editing the occasional article so I am comfortable with the interface and with how Wikipedia works. But following the wizard, I think it is a doable project for those with fairly basic Wikipedia skills. And you get the nice feeling that you have contributed something to the world of open learning.

Photo: Pickaboo with a Peacock by Susanne Neilson used under CC-BY-SA



Building knowledge tools for the public good

Like many of you, my interest in learning extends beyond the teaching & learning that occurs within formalized educational institutions, which is why I am so interested in Wikipedia. I think Wikipedia is, arguably, the greatest knowledge repository human beings have ever built. Which is why I get so excited when I see projects from academics that make meaningful contributions to Wikipedia. Making Wikipedia better is making the world better by making knowledge more accessible to everyone. Projects like Visualizing Complex Science (found via this Read-only access is not enough blog post on Creative Commons).

The Visualizing Complex Science project was done by Dr. Daniel Mietchen, a Berlin based Researcher & Biophysicist. Dr. Mietchen created a bot that crawls open access science journals looking for multimedia content. When the bot find an image, video or audio clip, it extracts the content & uploads it to the Wikimedia Commons where it can be used by Wikimedia authors to enhance articles.

The bot has uploaded more than 13,000 files to Wikimedia Commons and has been used in more than 135 English Wikipedia articles that together garnered more than three million views.

In addition to the actual project itself, what I find interesting about this project is deconstructing all the conditions that had to exist in order for this project to happen. For me, the recipe for this specific project breaks down to this:

Academic Researcher + Wikipedia + Open Access + hackathon + structured data = jackpot win for human knowledge.

Dissecting this equation a bit, we have an academic researcher who “gets” Wikipedia on a couple of levels. First, he feels it has enough value and importance as a knowledge repository that he is willing to put time into making it better. Second, he understands the technical aspects of the platform well enough that he can build something that massively improves the collection. Finally, he understands that Wikipedia has a massive reach & is a great tool to disseminate complex scientific research in a manner that makes it accessible to everyone. Wikipedia needs more academics like Dr. Mietchen.

Then we have Wikipedia itself, imbued with the value of open on a number of levels. First, open to contributions from anyone. Without allowing anyone to contribute, Dr. Mietchen might very well have had to jump through many bureaucratic layers to make a contribution. Also, those who built the software for Wikipedia made the platform open enough so that people like Dr. Mietchen could build bots capable of doing projects like this.

The next critical piece is Open Access. Without having openly licensed and openly accessible research articles, the bot wouldn’t have any data to mine. And, even if technically it could mine proprietary research journals, they could not legally be shared to the Wikimedia Commons because they would be protected from reuse by copyright.

Now, there are a few things in that equation that seem especially interesting. First, the hackathon. What role did a hackathon have in the success of this project? Well, when you listen to Dr. Mietchen talk about the project, you’ll hear him explain how he was inspired to create the automated Wikipedia bot after attending hackathons and seeing what programmers could do in a short period of time.

The other bit I find interesting is the role that structured data (everybody’s favorite sexy topic) played in making this happen. Without structured metadata explaining to the machines what that content is, whether it is in the correct technical format, and categorizing it correctly in the Wikimedia Commons, the bot just wouldn’t work.


I think it is important to point out that these conditions were not put in place to make this project happened; the project happened because these conditions were already in place. It’s a crucial distinction, and a common story worth repeating when it comes to working with technology. It points to the importance of generativity in both Wikipedia and Open Access.

Generativity is a system’s capacity to produce unanticipated change through unfiltered contributions from broad and varied audiences. Jonathon Zittrain, The Future of the Internet — And How To Stop It 

Both Wikipedia and Open Access have high degrees of generativity. And because of that generativity, Dr. Mietchen was able to build a tool that neither could have anticipated when they were created. I am sure that the architects of both Wikipedia and Open Access hoped that projects like this would happen. But neither knew that they would. Instead, they built in the capacity to enable projects like this to emerge from the community. And, as a result, improve knowledge for all. 


Supporting what I use

This past week, I have been spending money, primarily getting ready for the upcoming holiday season. But along the way I’ve also been spending some money and supporting a few of the free online services and products that I rely on everyday.

My first stop, the Wikipedia store, where I dropped $25 on an “I Edit Wikipedia” shirt, some stickers and pin. Mozilla was next, where, for $30, I got a nice, new Firefox t-shirt. $30 at Creative Commons snagged me a t-shirt, some stickers and pins.

Now, even though I get some nice stuff out of this, I didn’t do it because of the t-shirts, stickers or pins. It’s not about the schwag (although it’s nice to have a sticker on the laptop to show support and raise awareness). And I don’t see this as charity. I am not doing this for altruistic reasons. It’s selfish, really. I want these services and products to survive because I use them – no, I RELY on them, every day.  In my mind, this is a payment (albeit small) for services and products I use. They are valuable, and I would miss them if they were gone.

I financially support these organizations for the same reason I support The Knowledge Network and other public broadcasters – because I get something of value from them and I think they should be acknowledge in a way that means something to them. They need money to keep doing the work they do; work that is generally free from commercial interests, which is something that is harder to come by on the web these days, especially in education where the VC money is calling the shots on so many “innovations” revolutionizing education.  Personally, I would rather pay transparently up front than have what I see as valuable become commodified and commercialized.

Last night, after reading George Siemens post (and subsequent rich conversation between George and Scott Leslie in the comments), I added Hack Education to my list and made a payment to Audrey Watters for $25. A small price to pay to someone who I (and many others) see as an invaluable, independent voice in the EdTech maelstrom these days.


Georges post also made me realize that I should be explicit about these contributions and transactions. His post was a prompt for me – a reminder that these free services we rely on need to be supported in real and tangible ways, and pushed me to action. Georges post was my prompt. Maybe this will be yours?


Create a book from Wikipedia articles

While doing some random surfing last night, I stumbled upon a new tool in Wikipedia that I didn’t know existed (but has been around for a couple of years).

You can create books (both print and e) of selected Wikipedia content.

The Wikipedia book tool is located in the left hand navigation of Wikipedia under Print/Export. Click the create a book link,  activate the book creator tool and you can start compiling pages in Wikipedia.

As you go from page to page, you will see a new toolbar at the top of each page prompting you to add this page to your book.

Once you are finished, click Show Book where you can add a title and rearranging the articles.

Once you have the book tweaked as you like, you can then output & download to EPUB, PDF, OpenDocument, or OpenZIM (a format I am not familiar with), or send a copy to a print on demand service called Pediapress which, for a small fee, will print and ship you a physical copy of the book.

I gave it a try and in about 5 minutes had created a very simple ebook containing the biographies of the current Canadian mens national soccer team (sigh we came so close this time) and the current state of our national soccer program. Here is a Canadian soccer primer from Wikipedia in PDF (yikes – 13 meg) or ePub (1.6 meg) format.

Video on how to create a Wikipedia ebook.

After I tweeted this, Alan Levine & Scott MacMillan replied to me and pointed out that UBC has this feature set up on their wiki’s as well.

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Turns out, there are extensions for any MediaWiki site that can enable instant, on the fly publishing ebook format.


Student views on a Wikipedia project

Wikipedia - T-shirt

Alan Levine (@cogdog) has posted interviews he did with 3 UBC students about their perceptions and experiences participating in a Wikipedia Education Project assigned to them by UBC History professor Tina Loo.

While it is the experience of only 3 students, I think it’s a valuable read for any faculty who may be considering doing a Wikipedia Education Project.

In summary, the students that Alan spoke with noted the following:

  • After spending 4 years writing academic papers, the students found the challenge of writing an article for Wikipedia a refreshing change.
  • Students felt strange deleting existing contents of Wikipedia articles (“the first edit was terrifying”).
  • The students worked in groups, and found it challenging to find a common writing voice within their group while adhering to the Wikipedia standards of neutral point of view, concise length, and precise language that can be understood by a lay person.
  • Students found the Wikipedia community both helpful, and challenging to the point of being rude. In the later case, the Wikipedia Project ambassador intervened and provided support to the students.
  • Students said they were motivated by the fact that their writing was going to be public as they “do not usually get to write for others.” As a result, the students felt extra pressure to make sure the facts were correct.

A key principle in  adult learning theory is that adult learners are relevancy oriented, and judging by some of the quotes from these students, this assignment fit that principle. The students felt that by doing their work in the public on Wikipedia, their education was being used on a project that they see as relevant in world outside of academia.

The reality is that Wikipedia really is becoming a basic source of information, not the thing you are going to write your whole paper with, but people go to it– even my grandmother goes to Wikipedia as a reference.


The more we got involved into it, the more it seemed like we were using our education to actively help the world.

For me the kicker quote in the whole article is:

I look at Wikipedia differently. I have found an article on an author that was blatantly wrong. Now I know to change it

A student that comes away from an assignment feeling different than they did before about something; feeling empowered to change something that they see as wrong in a public forum? That is a transformational learning experience.

Photo: Wikipedia t-shirt by mikeedesign used under Creative Commons. I want this t-shirt :).


What can Wikipedia do to encourage new contributors?

I find it troubling that Wikipedia is losing contributors. Despite it’s flaws, Wikipedia and the overarching ideals it was built on, still represent the world’s greatest open educational resource. It’s a place built on the Web 2.0 ideals of transparency and collectivism, and I think of the people who contribute to Wikipedia as people who love learning and knowledge.

I wonder why it is losing contributors? Maybe after 10 years, the shiny factor is wearing off as it becomes one of those things in our life that kind of fades into the background. It’s always there, now serving a primarily utilitarian role in our lives. Like power or plumbing, we don’t notice it all the time because it is just there, and we have come to expect that it will always be there.

Maybe there are less contributors because, after 10 years and 3.7 million articles, there isn’t as much to actually edit or contribute these days. Sure, there is a lot of new information being generated every day in the world, but maybe the knowledge base has been pretty well built and now all that needs to be done is gardening. The low hanging knowledge fruit has been picked and we are now getting into topics and details that only those who are highly knowledgeable in those areas could contribute something new to?

Or, perhaps as the article suggest, it is difficult to edit or add an article to Wikipedia? Sure, in theory anyone can add or edit an article, but in reality it does take a bit of technical know-how to edit a Wikipedia article correctly. And then there are the protocols and procedures that Wikipedia has put in place that need to be followed. Unless you have done a bit of research into how to actually author or edit a Wikipedia article, it seems to me that there might be a barrier there for new users to figure out how to do it right.

I could be wrong with that last bit, which is why I’d be interested to hear your experiences with editing Wikipedia. Do you do it? Do you find it difficult? What could Wikipedia do to make it easier for you to add or edit articles?


Sematic web and information processing

Qwiki looks like a very interesting platform. It’s like Wikipedia in that it is like an encyclopedia of general knowledge, only instead of the knowledge being constructed primarily by contributors, it is created by machines, pulling all these little bits and pieces of content from other spots on the web. It does this on the fly using semantic web technologies. There is a way that users can participate, by suggesting sources of information that might improve a Qwiki, but the heavy lifting is primarily done by machines. And it looks very pretty. The UI is slick.

In taking a look at Qwiki, I came across this blog post from Gregory Roekens in which he connects semantic web technologies with a theory of knowledge creation and information processing called mental space theory, which, in turn, is based on something called a DIKW (data, information, knowledge and wisdom) hierarchy. DIKW illustrates a hierarchical relationship in that data and information lead to knowledge, which leads to wisdom. I haven’t come across this term or theory before, but it is intriguing.

Amplify’d from

Qwiki is one of those emerging platform leveraging the semantic web. I often used the Ackoff’s allocation of mental space theory to explain the importance of Semantic Web and its huge potential. This theory is based on the DIKW hierarchy.

In a nutshell and using the diagrams below, our brain is using 40% of mental space to process data into information, a further 30% to process information into knowledge, 20% to process knowledge into Wisdom and only the remaining 10% is used to process Wisdom into Vision (see diagram 1).

In his work Scott Carpenter explains that thanks to data-handling technology (think excel spreadsheet, charts and dashboard) it allows the human cognitive energy to shift upward and produce information out of data (see diagram 2). Without these technologies the cognitive is locked down by mundane and time consuming effort to process the data into information.

What’s really exciting in Scott’s theory is that with the Semantic Web and its semantic processing power cognitive allocation can shift to Wisdom and Vision with the machine effectively delivering the Knowledge (see diagram 3).


Qwiki via Stephen Downes


Wikipedia to build an OER platform

Good move by Wikipedia to help develop tools educators can use. By engaging the academic & teaching community, Wikipedia could actually become a much more substantive and “credible” resource. Plus by engaging educators in the act of editing Wikipedia and using them to introduce Wikipedia to their students as contributors and not just users, I can see these resources expanding the Wikipedia contributor user base as more students and educators become engaged in not only using, but contributing, to Wikipedia.

Amplify’d from

As Wikipedia hits its 10th year of operation, it is making efforts to involve academics more closely in its process. The latest is a new plan to build an “open educational resource platform” that will gather tools about teaching with Wikipedia in the classroom.

Rodney Dunican, education programs manager for Wikimedia, Wikipedia’s parent company, is part of the team working to build the platform, which he said will highlight the ways in which Wikipedia can be used to improve student learning.

“We don’t want them to cite Wikipedia,” he said of students. “What we really want them to do is understand how to use and critically evaluate the articles on Wikipedia and then learn how to contribute to make those articles better.”