Wednesday, May 13, 2009
  Whatever you do, do NOT tell Jim ;)
Irish student hoaxes world's media with fake quote by AP: Yahoo! Tech
When Dublin university student Shane Fitzgerald posted a poetic but phony quote on Wikipedia, he said he was testing how our globalized, increasingly Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in an age of instant news.

His report card: Wikipedia passed. Journalism flunked.
Yes, famous newspapers published a fake (and rather "purple") quote in their obituaries for Michael Jarre, while Wikipedia (the public encyclopedia) tested the quote, found it wanting and removed it.

Motto trust Wikipedia over a professional journalist any day, diletantism rocks ;)


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Friday, January 19, 2007
There's yet another attempt to harness the free community oriented benefits of Wikipedia to a more traditional (and therefore [perhaps?] reliable?) form of approval. Started by a Neuroscientist called Izhikevich, Scholarpedia seems to be a heady mix of Wikipedia, peer review and social software.

Scholars who participate will gain Brownie Scholar Index Points which will buy them more favourable treatment. Users will be able to benefit from reliable (or at least authorised) content, as well as suggest edits (though the page's curator will have a veto).

Will it work? Who knows... Will even Jim read it's articles (when it gets round to publishing in theology)? Can this mix of idealism and pragmatics work at all? See the review in ifBook for more coherent thoughts than I have time for this week, whatever this is a project to watch with interest as we anxiously await the future of scholarship.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006
SBL Forum Wiki Edition ::

(With apologies to all the other contributors. Especially Bob Buller who wrote on Google Books so is also a must read for me - I can probably live without Samuel Thomas' Bible Scholar on an Airplane as I'll be one in a day or two!)

But given my limited time at this season, its the "In the Classroom" articles that deserve my first read. They all focus on Wikis!
Sight unseen (I have yet to begin to read any of them!) Kevin Wilson's is the most exciting as Tyler's post led me to Kevin's Blue Cord Bible Dictionary wiki project even before he led me to the SBL Forum. I do hope Kevin will be at SBL and we can meet up!

Now I must run, the day is breaking and Barbara needs coffee before church...

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

What is the role of the Internet in student research for assignments? ::

Several groups of my different colleagues have discussed this recently. Views vary hugely.

Some sound sensible: “Wikipedia should not be used in preparing assignments. It's information is not always correct.” [Ah, so you think the Encyclopedia Gallactica IS correct always? Or should students not rather learn to read critically...]

Some are extreme: “I tell students I will not accept any Internet URLs in their bibliography!” says one ostrich. [I have news for you friend, the students will do their research on the 'net, they will just hide this fact in their bibliographies for your assignments!]

I rather like this piece of urban myth (from Bruce Sterling via Jason Kottke though apparently related by an “engineering prof” which is surely enough degrees of separation for you to quote it fearlessly!):
The prof split his class into two groups. The first group, the John Henrys, had to study and learn exclusively from materials available at the internet allowed. The second group, the Baby Hueys, could use only the internet for research and primary source lookups at the library. After a few weeks, he had to stop this experiment because the John Henrys were lagging so far behind the Baby Hueys that it is was unfair to continue.
I'm not sure how it would work in Biblical Studies, quite a lot of our important works are still only available in print, though between EBSCO, Oxford Online and their like, not to mention Google Books and Scholar I suspect the results (at least in a blind test where the marker did not know to which group the student belonged) might be similar. But only if the students were taught first how to use the resources at their fingertips, and how to read with discernment and sharply critical faculties honed.

Why is it we persist in seeking to teach students to inhabit the world in which we grew up and did our PhDs (getting them to compose “book reviews” and such tasks), rather than the one they inhabit (teaching them to become critical consumers of Wikipedia)?

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