Dear all,

Yesterday I gave a presentation to the annual NSW English Teachers'  
Association conference loosely based on the fact that Wikipedia is  
now an optional HSC text.
You can search for the full details from the association's website  
here: http://www.englishteacher.com.au/

There were about 20 teachers attending the workshop which lasted for  
an hour. Rather than trying to give a detailed discussion of how  
Wikipedia can be studied in the context of the HSC I did three  
things: a "why you need to know", an "anatomy of a page" and some  
examples of how WP can be used to start conversations in class (such  
as how to be critical of texts).

You can see the PDF at the "presentations" page at meta: http:// 
meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Presentations/en
I would really like some feedback on this from a wikipedian's  
perspective - it was very well received by the teachers.

As an outcome of this presentation I have learned that there are a a  
couple of schools intending on taking the WP module at the HSC for  
their students in the next year. Most notably a catholic school in  
Maitland (near Newcastle). I promised those teachers that were  
interested in introducing WP into their school - either as a module  
for study or just as a way to discuss things with their students  
(such as how to be critical of texts, how to write collaboratively  
etc.) that WM-Au would try to help however we could. I gave them our  
website and I have every intention of going to visit these schools if  
invited to talk to staff and/or students. Hopefully several of us  
would be able to go on these kinds of visits.

To that end WM-Au would need to have approval from the department of  
education and be put on the "approved visitors" list. I will begin  
this process for us next week. It shouldn't be difficult or long. It  
basically means that we would need to list all of the people who we  
say can represent WM-Au and the DET may then undertake a check of  
police records to see that we are not restricted from contact with  
children. This will then give WM-Au a "visitation number" and place  
us on the list that all schools have.


In other news, I spent all Thursday at a conference discussing the  
ramifications of the Australian federal government's planned internet  
censorship programme. The schedule is here: http:// 
www.bakercyberlawcentre.org/2008/censorship/index.htm
It was very informative and quite scary too, this is something that I  
believe everyone of us needs to be informed about as it will affect  
us directly - we deal with free information and this is a direct  
curtailing of that. Please see more at http://nocleanfeed.com or  
<selfpromo> listen to the most recent episode of wikipediaweekly.org  
podcast </selfpromo>

I hope you are all well,

-Liam
[[witty lama]]


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