Monday, 7 May 2007

Jimmy Wales seminar

We attend the Jimmy Wales seminar Challenging How Knowledge is Created at the Burswood on Tuesday 24th April.

At the start of the seminar participants were invited to use the tag "eduausem2007", if they were blogging about the seminar. This tag will then ensure that everything about the seminar would be captured on flickr, technorati, or del.icio.us. It occurred to me that before embarking on ECU Library Learning 2.0, I would not have really understood what they were on about.

Jimmy Wales is the founder of online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. He believes firmly in the ‘democratisation’ of knowledge, and is taking the Wikipedia phenomenon around the globe. The Wikipedia movement is dedicated to addressing the digital divide by providing free access to a range of educational products. In addition to the encyclopedia they are now working towards open access online journals and books.

This was very pertinent to the whole Web2.0 area. Wikipedia sits firmly in the Web2.0 environment as it is not about software, but about learning and knowledge creation in a social environment.

Jimmy Wales sees us moving from the “gatekeeper model” to the “accountability model” This has impact on libraries which have traditionally had a type of gatekeeper role. We need to rethink this.

Jimmy answered some of the Wikipedia critics. In a recent nature article it was found that a Encyclopedia Britannica article on science had 3 mistakes and one in Wikipedia had 4 mistakes.

Mark Pescy’s presentation really got to the nitty gritty of the seminar topic on knowledge creation and “peer produced technologies”. He sees wiki knowledge creation as centred around truth, trust, and authority. Authority is distributed, and the wiki community has the knowledge. Truth comes with trust, for example trust that the source is reliable. I think this links well with information literacy where we teach students about the evaluation of information found on websites and elsewhere.

There was some discussion on implementing wikis in the workplace. For a wiki to succeed you only need a core of about 5 people who regularly contribute.
It was interesting to compare the functions of blogs and wikis and we felt that wikis would be really useful in the ECU Library context as we tend to work collaboratively anyway. Blogs tend to be a more individualistic form of communication.

A range of people attended the all day seminar, including teachers, people from media, librarians, educators from the TAFE and university areas.

The seminar was sponsored by a number of groups including ALIA, Education.au and EDNA. You can view some of the online forum that ensued at this EDNA spot

2 comments:

web_wiz said...

JG, I think they want you to put "eduausem2007" under your "labels".

Blogspot uses the word labels instead of tag.

Sounds like a very interesting seminar!

ECU Library Learning 2.0 said...

Yes, thanks for that tip web wiz, i will do that.
Have you ever tried editing a Wikipedia entry? i discovered that the ECU entry has the old ECU logo. What is there is quite up to date, and seems to have been updated by an automated "bot". But there's nothing at all about the library.jg