[Wikimediaau-l] Wikipedia and schools

private musings thepmaccount at gmail.com
Tue Dec 9 03:05:25 UTC 2008

Hi all,

just thinking out loud here - but following our brainstorming about
beginning outreach work into schools, I wonder if there's any appetite on
this list for discussion about Wikipedia's suitability in schools - and
other peripheral issues which kinda surround the broohaha raging elsewhere
(UK 'Virgin Killer' thing).

I had a very interesting chat with an editor yesterday, and we were sort of
coming around to the view that within schools, students need to understand
the nature of Wikipedia, and can learn a lot from engaging with it in
various ways, but that we need to be clear that some material in the
encyclopedia is reasonably likely to cause problems if accessed in school,
and is likely to be considered unsuitable for minors by teachers and parents

My answer right now to the question 'should wikipedia be available in
schools' is 'no' - I'd be interested to hear yours.

I think it'd be great to lead the way on a community level in figuring out
how best to communicate this - you know - accentuating the positives,
communicating clearly the nature of the wiki beast etc.

Stuff that I've done in this area goes back a little way - primarily in
'project space' with;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Advice_for_parents  and recently

On a side note, I believe Commons has a bit of catch up to do in terms of
policy and practice in dealing with images best described as 'edgy' and
uncharitably described as free porn, and whilst I'm happy to talk about that
here, I guess the most 'on topic' matter in hand is how this (and indeed
recent press coverage) impact our outreach work, and what we might be able
to do to best work with schools etc.


(who's chomping at the bit to send someone money for membership ;-)
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