Hi Peter,

2009/6/22 <peterjer...@optushome.com.au>

> Though this is still true.  At least within my son's school, the staff
> are still trying to come up with ideas on how to integrate the laptops
> into the teaching process.  Being able to point to sections of the
> curriculum and proposing how Wikipedia and/or WM-AU can help them meet
> the "outcomes" will probably be useful.

Many teachers aren't terribly computer literate, either - even though most
of them have and regularly use computers. Some would genuinely like to learn
more about them while others have a hostility to them.

>  >I'm happy to help from the WA side, although I am of the firm belief that
> >*Wikipedia* (as opposed to other Wiki-based delivery methods) as such is
> not
> >the most useful avenue to do this. In my field, the articles are far too
> >technical / high-level for the high school students to understand (or in
> >some cases even me, and I have a degree minor in the stuff!)
> This also implies that those articles are not accessible to the
> average adult, which I feel is undesirable.  It would be useful to
> adapt the articles to improve accessibility, without losing the more
> technical details.

The standards for articles on Wikipedia do not dictate the level of
comprehensibility. In finding stuff for year 9 and 10 Biology classes when I
was doing prac teaching I really didn't find much I could use at all on Wiki
- the language was at higher-end undergraduate level. As for the chemistry
area which I mentioned as my minor - again the language was higher level and
a lot of stuff which would be very useful to practising chemists or to
university lecturers/tutors was there but not a lot I could mine out for my
class. In the end I had to resort to photocopying introductory bits of uni
textbooks :)

> > and often have
> >concepts in them which are not within the various Australian curricula.
> As article should not be ignored solely because it includes more
> information/detail than required.  As long as the relevant material
> can identified, it could still be useful.

Unfortunately with 50 minute lesson time and a range of learners from the
very bright, logical, creative thinkers through to the concrete learners
(very common in the 12-15 age range, basically means they haven't yet
developed formal reasoning or understanding of the abstract) the teacher
pretty much needs to have it in a form they can use *right now*. Especially
in maths and science the problem already is with students having mental
blocks thinking they can't understand things which are actually not
difficult to explain, so the idea is always to minimise distractions and
emphasise real world applications. In effect every minute spent on stuff
they don't need to know is a minute lost from a teaching/curriculum

I still think it would be possible to have a collaborative project which can
generate resources, tasks, etc which are appropriate to various grade
levels. The Wikieducator project was striving to do something similar on an
international basis.

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