[extropy-chat] Education monopolies [was: Education in 2030]
ben at goertzel.org
Sat Jan 27 22:12:30 UTC 2007
The issue with Wikipedia is that random people can edit it and insert
incorrect information. The incidence of this is low but not zero,
and I bet the error rate in Wikipedia is higher than in conventional
If I were a professor these days, I would allow students to cite
Wikipedia as a general principle, but ask them to cite more reliable
sources for highly critical pices of information...
On Jan 27, 2007, at 5:03 PM, Robert Bradbury wrote:
> I was struck recently by:
> "Professors to Ban Students From Citing Wikipedia" .
> Now the question arises is the information in Wikipedia "bad" or is
> it simply incompletely edited? How can students cite the "current"
> literature, much of which may be unavailable (distributed in many
> cases by monopolistic publishers but paid for by your tax $) at
> colleges whose libraries lack subscriptions to "everything" ?
> If the Wikipeida articles are the current "state of
> knowledge" (because people writing them may have access to the best
> sources), then the question arises as to why Wikipedia citations
> should be banned? I would note that I believe both MIT and
> Stanford are moving in the direction of allowing public access to
> all of their courses. That would mean that you could get an MIT or
> Stanford education *without* attending MIT or Stanford. So the
> question that lurks in the back of my mind is whether teachers
> (professors) are concerned in the long run with one-to-more-
> than-"many" replacing the classical "one-to-many" models. If I can
> get the information online from Wikipedia or MIT or Stanford why
> should one spend hours and hours redistilling something that
> someone else has already distilled? One can argue that learning to
> analyze scientific thought processes has value (which is why things
> in Wikipedia should be accepted on a "preliminary" basis) or that
> hearing things directly from the professor in a classroom has
> value, but I can't help but believe there isn't a fair amount of
> questioning among various educators -- "What if Wikipedia and the
> staffs of MIT and Stanford can replace us?" In which case one is
> dealing with efforts to maintain ones "monopoly" on education
> rather than legitimate academic concerns.
> 1. http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/26/1752250
> 2. I am fortunate that over the last 15 years I have had access to
> libraries that have access to nearly everything.
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