Random Thoughts

1 Million Edits, TED-ED, and Hall of Fames

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It seems like forever since I’ve sat down and blogged…..and yet at the same time it seems I spend all day blogging. Between school, COETAIL, and students I’m spending more time then ever in WordPress

But tonight I’m closing everything else to reflect on some articles lately that I can’t get out of my head. 

Some rights reserved by nojhan

Wikipedia has its first 1 million editor. Stop and think about that for a minute. That’s pretty amazing that someone would take the time to sit down and make edits….for free…for others to use. What worries me most is Wikipedia is seeing a decline in the number of editors yet the website is as popular as ever…..and all I can think about is are we creating a generation of takers and not givers? How many teachers have taught the true meaning of giving on the Internet…..or actually given themselves. We all take, I haven’t met a teacher yet that hasn’t gotten a resource from the web, yet very few share and give back. The generation in our schools today are some of the heaviest users of Wikipedia and I hope that we’re challenging them to give back at least some of what they are taking. Wikipedia is a project waiting to be using in every subject I can imagine. There has to be away to use it in our schools. 

Many schools, including mine, have expectations that students put in community service hours. I wonder if there is a way to count Wikipedia editing as community service. I’d love to be on that interview:

“What community did you support?”

“A community of about 1 billion people.”



TED-ED launched their new site recently which has some interesting features and an interesting twist to the flip approach. I need to dig into the site more to see how it all works but from the readings I’ve done and exploring the website it looks be be a pretty useful resource. But teachers will be the ultimate judge of that! 

Raymond Tomlinson

And lastly the Internet officially received its own Hall of Fame. Great to see those who invented this thing be recognized. It has been fun to read through some of their bios. It’s great to see people like Raymond Thomlinson who years ago looked down at his computer keyboard for a symbol that would separate the username from the domain host. He needed a symbol that wasn’t in use yet and choose the @ sign. Forever changing the world of communication. There is a great article that I re-read every once and awhile called How the Web Was Won that talks a lot about the pioneers of the Internet and the early days. A great historical read if you are interested. 

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. are we creating a generation of takers and not givers?

    I’ve heard the point made before that the Internet kills local talent, because the connectivity that it enables is a double-edged sword. One the one hand, any backyard band can get their sounds out there to meet with a wider audience. Kids can geek out and mess around with a geographically diverse set of people that occupy the same interest niche. On the other, it means that local content creators are competing with global powerhouses, mass-manufactured groups with professional backing. So where previously you might have gone to see a local band because thats all that was available, with the Internet that local band now has to compete against a huge variety of media talent that can make inroads into every local community because of the Internet.

    How does this relate to being a taker and not a giver? I wonder if this competition isn’t detrimental to the budding content creator, who struggles to find an audience and subsequently gives up. So you have givers becoming takers. (Allowing local industries to develop, incidentally, is the rational that many developing countries give in favor of protectionist economic measures; I’m just applying the same thinking to creativity and expression).

  2. I have been thinking a lot about the community aspect of technology and education. My last couple of posts are the first steps in that direction. It started with our look at copyright and attribution, and what our role is in that. My take is that creative people (and our students are all creating) need to see themselves s members of a massive community of creators who are intrinsically linked to one another, regardless of whether they desire to be so or not. It seems like the ‘rules’ of this community are really in an embryonic state, and that there are some amazing initiatives out there to develop a set of mores to follow (CC), but there are also some powerful voices trying to impose much more restrictive limits that threaten this creative community. I think that it is a very, very pivotal issue in education.

    Liddi hit his first dinger! 🙂

  3. Takers and Not Givers- isn’t that what the 90-9-1 implies as well? Does this shift towards curating and consuming, and not creating apply only to the internet or to us as human beings in general? What is the role that schools are playing in encouraging student creativity and contribution?
    My favorites are sites such as Scribd (http://www.scribd.com/) that require you to upload or pay up. Every time I am there I am made to think about my own responsibility as a creator and contributor of information, and I usually find something to share- of course I wonder if anyone will like or need it but that is a different issue.
    Your idea of having students edit wikipedia is an interesting one. Why can schools not encourage that? Many classes complete research projects. What better real-world learning than one that says ‘hey this is where your final product will be.’ In the case of my school I can think of all kinds of expected student outcomes and standards that would be ‘hit’ if such a project was to be attempted.

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