wikipedia won’t kill the cat

Written By: admin - Aug• 29•09

Curiosity killed the cat they say, and from what I can see for most people, participating in the creation of online content, rather than simply consuming it, might have the same result.

A month or so ago, my sister in Oregon emailed me me in great distress. “Grandpa Redfield has a Wikipedia page” she wrote” and they mention Uncle James on it but not Mom!” she wrote.
“Why don’t you fix it?” I wrote back.
“I haven’t any idea how to edit a Wikipedia page!” she replied.

How is it that people can be such incurious sheep? They just take what they are given don’t they?

Well, everyone knows that Wikipedia can be edited. That’s the whole idea!

That’s why teachers don’t like students to use it, because it can be edited by anyone. I even had Mr. McIntyre tell me once that Wikipedia was “evil”. I asked him if he trained his students how to edit it and he acted like I was asking if he trained his students to rob banks.
The whole idea of wikipedia was that it would be self-correcting, that if you saw something was wrong, you could correct it.

So they make it pretty easy to do. If you look at the top of the page there is a tab that says Edit this Page. Says it right there at the top.

There is also a tab for history, if you edit something your IP is recorded as well as what changes you made. It’s good manners to leave your name too so if you look at the history tab for Robert Redfield’s wikipedia page you’ll see that I added my mother, my aunt and another brother Tito ( who died at 12 from injuries in a sledding accident) as children along with my uncle, James Redfield in May of 2009

It completely amazes me that my sister didn’t see the tabs at the top of the article for Edit this Page, Discussion, History. I fear that it would discourage me  greatly to know how many of our students are similarly unobservant and how many are mindless consumers of information rather than contributors.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Comment

  1. […] Wikipedia is a huge wiki and you can edit any part of it.  See  wikipedia won’t kill the cat. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *