Rethinking Wikipedia

I throughly enjoyed going through the Wikipedia instructor training. I teach at the high school and graduate levels and after this training I am rethinking the ways that Wikipedia could have a place in my classrooms.

Because I’m teaching in two spaces I constantly am balancing graduate school world and high school world in my head, so I am left with questions that speak to both of those spaces.

We still teach our high schoolers that they “can’t use Wikipedia”. This has evolved from asking them to never use it, to recognizing that of course they use it, but they should use it only as a jumping point and never cite it. After finishing this training and thinking about the pillars of Wikipedia I wonder how this high school policy (and my school certainly isn’t unique here – anti Wikipedia is the standard) impacts how our students think about acquiring knowledge from Wikipedia, and how they think about what is “true”.

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Hayles Provocation

I know we were asked not to summarize, but I couldn’t help myself! I found this text to be challenging, and the act of summarizing at the start helped me to clarify my provocation, so I’m hoping it will help you as well! If not, skip to the last two paragraphs!

Katherine Hayles’ How We Became Posthuman (1999) reflects on the relationship between information and the body, and what it means to be post/human. Hayles considers Moravec’s argument that someday “soon” (he was writing in 1988) human consciousness could be downloaded into a computer. Moravec suggested, and Hayles considers, that in this future universe, “you are the cyborg, and the cyborg is you.”

To Hayles, the idea of a total separation of mind and body is a nightmare, and this nightmare is what leads her to explore and consider the field of cybernetics and what it means to be post/human. Hayles defines posthuman through the following traits:

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