I’ve got my right foot on the front of oscar’s rocking chair, in the dark, trying to coax an hour of sleep out of the little tyke. Things have been a little busy here in potato land, and i haven’t gotten nearly all the things done that I would like to… but this has been spinning in my head for a while so…
If I was to ask you folks who were the leading people in our field (which i’ve so carefully defined in the title) a familiar list of names would probably pop up. A list of people who have affected our practice, who have given us the feeling that the things that we are trying to do, the changes we are trying to affect, are possible and worthwhile.
I was wandering around wikipedia yesterday after the thought occured to me again that few of the people in our ‘field’ were actually in wikipedia. I was looking for an appropriate category for an entry on another valued member of our community and failed to find a point of reference for it. Will Richardson, who thousands of people a year come out to listen to speak, is not there. I came across Stephen Downes’ entry and was shocked to discover this
- “The subject of this article seems to fail Wikipedia’s consensually-accepted criteria for inclusion of biographies. If you are familiar with the subject, please expand the article to establish its notability, citing reliable sources, so as to avoid it being considered for deletion. If notability cannot be established, the article is more likely to be considered for deletion, as per Wikipedia:Guide to deletion. If this article has no assertion of importance, then it may be speedy deleted under criterion A7 (unremarkable people). :
If we think that we have a field at all, then, agree or disagree with Mr. Downes, he is certainly “a widely recognized contribution that is part of the enduring historical record in their specific field.” That is… if we are a field. Which we’d better be if we want people to listen to us.
My concern about this is linked to comments by michael feldstein “we all need to prepare and hunker down a bit. We’re in a trench war.” If we are indeed part of this ‘field’ and we expect to be listened to by folks at large, we need to do a better job in defining that field. Those are the folks that we will need in the blackboard issue, when we discuss DOPA or edublogging, questions of voice… all of it.
I think we need some new wikipedia entries. I think we need to have an entry for edublogging that will give us the list of names that we can use to start getting those biographies out there. The posts on education that i see in wikipedia
are wholly inadequate to describe what is going on in our field. I have a strange feeling that the wiki-ers are not going to like me re-writing the entire field, so here is my call out to my peers. Support our Peeps. Go to wikipedia today and lets start getting the word out – outside our community.