“Know it All”-Wikipedia

Wikipedia is unique in many ways, for example a traditional encyclopedia is written and revised several times by paid employees and then printed into a collection of books. Wikipedia on the other hand, is an online only source that anyone with an interest in a subject can contribute to for no pay. Anyone with access to the internet can log on and submit information on pretty much anything, from Taylor Swift to Neurosciences. However this could lead to a problem when researching because again, anyone can contribute, giving mislead or even completely made up information on the topic, because they either were misinformed or simply want to start trouble on the internet.

While Wikipedia stuff works hard to make sure the information being presented is as accurate as possible, it is impossible to keep track of the topics being changed or added 24/7. That is why I have always used Wikipedia as more as a jumping off point when starting to research a topic and as my go to source of information. For example when starting a new research project I look at Wikipedia’s article on the topic if one exists or has enough information worth a look at. I then look at the references present at the bottom of the page and go to them. Also while reading an entry I may find a particular part in the article that interests me, I then search specifically about that point to make sure A) Wikipedia’s information is accurate and B) if there are any credible articles regarding that point. By doing this it helps me judge if actual thought and research was put into the information presented or if someone was bored and decided to make up facts about the Queen of England.

Wikipedia is a valuable source when researching, if you know how to use it smartly. Always double check information presented on a Wiki-post and never use it as your only source on a topic. By following these steps you will be able to use Wikipedia to its fullest extent and build proper researching skills.


Confident Idiots

Dunning starts off his article talking about a segment from a late night talk to that millions of people have seen either when it aired, through reruns, and on the internet. He uses this segment to introduce his research in a way that makes it easier for us to understand. He shows how it isn’t the people’s knowledge on a subject, real or otherwise, that makes them claim to know about a made up thing, but the confidence of the person. The article then brings in American Author William Feather as well as a paper him and a colleague published in 1999 to further his point that it isn’t people knowledge on a subject or lack thereof, but their inability to realize how incompetent they are on a topic. Dunning connects this theory, called the Dunning-Kruger effect, to the 2008 Financial meltdown saying it was people’s ignorance of the housing market that caused it. This furthers his point that this effect can find its way into any subject matter because as long as there is knowledge in a specific field to learn, some people will fake that knowledge so they don’t have to admit they have no clue. But you may think this doesn’t apply to you, however, Dennings says that this problem of “unrecognized ignorance” is a problem that affects us all as a result of clutter in our heads. Another big part of the article shows how to fight this ignorance we are born with both in schools, using the Socratic method, and harder places to fight such as the internet and news media.

McSweeney Assignment

The two articles use humor to show how the younger generations are relying more on technology and social media and less on reading and school work. Although doing it in a joking way, these articles show how schools should work social media and the use of the computers more into their everyday classes. Another thing these articles do is, also show the negative uses of technology and the internet, such as drunk texting or explaining “why you aren’t like your scumbag friend”. It does this to show the need for positive uses for things that have become a crucial part of our everyday lives. However, even with using these fake and humorous assignments we still see how the internet can become a writing tool for learning to write public speeches, emails, and letters. The articles names some of the websites on the ever-growing list of social media domains, showing more and more ways to get information, share it, and publish your work on. Not only does it show uses for the internet but also other forms of technological mediums such as texting and emails. The articles show how teachers shouldn’t fear social media but should embrace it as an untap source for the transporting information. Putting information on the internet is one of the fastest ways to be noticed and to spread your thoughts to a larger audience than just the classroom. By making pages on these websites you can create hubs for students to safely write and share their work, so they can grow as both writers and readers, as well as connected with students throughout the country and the world.  Also I feel one thing this article does besides show the potential uses for social media as a learning device is show what happens if we rely on it too much, it calls reading stupid and dangerous. So although I feel using these tools is a good way to enhance learning, an over reliance on it would do more harm than good.