Friday, May 29, 2009

Could He Fool the Whole World?


"The moral of this story is not that journalists should avoid Wikipedia, but that they shouldn't use information they find there if it can't be traced back to a reliable primary source..."

Suppose a person fabricated a piece of information and then posted it to Wikipedia. Would the fraud be snuffed immediately? Or, would the bogus information go down in history as fact? That situation happened recently, and you can read about it here.

The implications for the field of education are enormous. I had written recently about the need for us to check our facts before passing on what could be hoaxes. The Internet is a resource for information--both good and bad. The job of finding information is easier now than it has ever been. The job of verifying the accuracy of that information just got tougher. It's the universal trade-off. Students need to understand that. First, however, we must understand that.

Technology throws at us solutions, and it throw at us problems, and then it throws at us solutions to the problems it threw. Staying on top of developments in technology is a wise investment of time. Ultimately, it makes life easier.

As summer arrives, we have more flexibility in our days that at any other time. We have the opportunity to make the summer count for something, if that's our choice. Harnessing some aspect of technology and making it work for us isn't a bad way to make summer count. For the language arts teacher, it may mean perfecting research skills, something relevant to the story which begins this post. For the math teacher, it may mean learning Excel and then wishing you had taken the plunge ten years ago. For the elementary teacher, it may mean getting really good at using that Interwrite SchoolPad through some devoted practice time. For the physical education teacher, it may mean starting a blog to inform other people how they can stay physically fit.

Our school system's vision is moving forward to meets the demands of a changing world. For a system committed with that vision at its center, getting serious about technology is one of the surest ways to turn vision into reality.
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