So before my flight home got canceled, I had a great day just outside of Green Bay speaking to superintendents and principals at the FIEL conference about the Germanic influences on the English language. I mean…um…the Read/Write/Connect/Reflect Web.

But here was just a classic teachable moment:

I’m showing how the last 500 edits in Wikipedia occurred over the last 2.5 minutes and how that translates to something like 300,000 edits a day when someone raises his hand and says “so take a look at the very last edit on the list…the one about Ronald McDonald.” I look at my own list, and of course, due to the deluge of edits on Wikipedia, there is no Ronald McDonald edit listed, and so we go to the site and see (Caution: vile and unpretty stuff ahead) this. I say something like “yep, this is the issue with Wikipedia isn’t it? So let’s fix it.” And silly me, I start going in and deleting the picture and erasing the bad words, and by the time I’m done doing all of that I hit save and wouldn’t ya know, someone else had come in and reverted the page back to a more appropriate version.

“See?” I say. Vandals come in at 14:27 and start mucking it up, page fixed within 10 minutes.

That’s why Wikipedia is worth a second, third and fourth look from educators.


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