I sat down today to write a paper for an art history class. In order
to gain some bearing the first thing I did was to google my topic.
Naturally this brought me to wikipedia.org, don’t get me wrong;
Wikipedia is defiantly not a research worthy site but what if it were?
What if this is the way we write research papers in the future,
instead of laying claim to our knowledge we allow everyone the right
to our discoveries in order to further the whole collective of human
knowledge. Wikipedia could become the library of tomorrow, allowing
people to better search criteria, full searchable text, not just
titles and subjects but the whole article.
When a student writes a research paper, they could automatically look
at what someone else has done and expand on a segment, or choose a
different angle completely. I think in education we spend too much
time doing repetitive practices, instead of learning from what others
have already done and using that as a jump off point. I am not
negating the idea of practicing one’s discipline to be efficent and
skilled at their chosen craft, I just think that we spend too much
time rehashing the same topics.
Let’s say for example I were to do a paper on George Ohr, famous
potter from Biloxi Mississippi, and I were to publish it on wikipedia
then anyone else who were to write a paper on him would then be able
to see my research and where my information came from and expand on my
reactions and thinking.
Maybe I am just a dreamer of democratizing information and grades. Oh