The Edubloggypodlearnonlinosphere – Are we a ‘field’ and if so…

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

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.

Author: dave

I run this site... among other things.

8 thoughts on “The Edubloggypodlearnonlinosphere – Are we a ‘field’ and if so…”

  1. But Dave–
    Wikipedia criteria go on to say:

    People who satisfy at least one of the items below generally merit their own Wikipedia articles, as there is likely to be a good deal of verifiable information available about them and a good deal of public interest in them. This is not intended to be an exclusionary list; just because someone doesn’t fall into one of these categories doesn’t mean an article on the person should automatically be deleted.

    And then farther down there is an example of people who are more well known than the average college professor as being includable.

    So I think the criteria are met, but the author of the article might need to make the notation that the Wikipedia directions indicate for the “non-notable” but “worthy of inclusion.”

    I expect it is reasonable to have criteria by which people would be considered “notable,” eh?


  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    My comments are by no means meant to criticize the criteria that wikipedia are using, but meant to address the fact that we need to work a little harder at proving that the leaders of our community are worth including. I think they are, the wikipedian who put the question mark on stephen’s bio is not at fault…

    we are.

  3. Hey Dave, just noticed that the Notable people section on Stephen Downe’s page is gone. I assume from this that Wikipedia now accept that Stephen is a person of note.

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