Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cool New Tool for the Classroom

Maybe this is old news but it was new to me. I was looking for a widget and stumbled on this little gadget from answer.com. I am testing it here because I can see it being very useful for students.
It will work anywhere on the blog but I thought the following paragraph might provide a little test drive... ...
(It is an excerpt I had saved from Will Richardson's blog about Wikipedia)

Just double click on any word in the paragraph

(Via Smart Mobs) So here is a research study (and I mean research, full of all sorts of funny looking formulas and symbols and stuff) about Wikipedia that comes to the conclusion that the more edits there are to a particular article the more accurate it is. Not surprising, to me at least, but since smart people are publishing quantitative results, it might add to the discussion.

Since its inception six years ago, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia has accumulated 6.40 million articles and 250 million edits, contributed in a predominantly undirected and haphazard fashion by 5.77 million unvetted volunteers. Despite the apparent lack of order, the 50 million edits by 4.8 million contributors to the 1.5 million articles in the English-language Wikipedia follow strong certain overall regularities. We show that the accretion of edits to an article is described by a simple stochastic mechanism, resulting in a heavy tail of highly visible articles with a large number of edits. We also demonstrate a crucial correlation between article quality and number of edits, which validates Wikipedia as a successful collaborative effort.

What do you think....see any applications for the classroom and course content?

3 comments:

Kelly Christopherson said...

Barbara, I can see this being a very useful tool for students who have difficulty with comprehension. It might help students get a better understanding of difficult vocabulary, especially when reading some online texts. I'll be checking it out myself.

Barbara said...

I was thinking it will work great in subject area blogs and if the students are making wiki's too...especially if they are building wiki texts.

Charlie Balthrop said...

Barbara, This would be a great tool to use for our special needs students in reading. Thanks for the information.