Wen's Woffle

An intermittent blog for work and play!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

recording of the Wikipedia debate


This is a discussion/debate about the advantages and disadvantages of Wikipedia. One professor discusses why his history department banned their students citing information from Wikipedia. Another explains why she asks her students to use it for their research assignments. Debate follows about the value of using Wikipedia as an educational tool. They discuss its strengths and weakneses etc. There were interesting points brought up about misinformation both malicious and non malicious. How do you trust a source? Who is editing the entries and why? What is Wikipedia about?-what's its philosophy etc? Listening to this I kept thinking that people need to develop their critical thinking skills, so it simply becomes a habit, or a way of questioning the information. You apply this to any information you find anywhere. See Standard 3 of the ANZIIL standards- ("The information literate person critically evaluates information and the information seeking process"). http://www.anziil.org/resources/Info%20lit%202nd%20edition.pdf
Aha! but how do you evaluate stuff? Well here's Alastair Smith's (of VUW Department of Library and Information Studies, New Zealand) list to help you. http://www.vuw.ac.nz/staff/alastair_smith/evaln/evaln.htm

On the subject of authority he tells you to ask questions like:
  • "Does the resource have some reputable organisation or expert behind it? "
  • "Does the author have standing in the field?"
  • "Are sources of information stated? "
  • "Is the information verifiable? "
  • "Can the author be contacted for clarification or to be informed of new information? "

You can apply these questions to Wikipedia. If the writer is worth his/her salt, he/she should be stating where they from and what their qualifications are. Always check these out.

On the subject of accuracy he tells you to ask questions like this:

  • "Is the information in the resource accurate? You may wish to check this against other resources, or by checking some information about which you have special knowledge. "
  • "Are there political or ideological biases? The Internet has become a prime marketing and advertising tool"
  • "What motivation does the author have for placing this information on the Net. Frequently the answer is that the information is placed to advertise, or support a particular point of view."

The how-to-stuff is out there-folks just need to think critically about their sources. Who's role is it to teach this-the students themselves? teaching staff? library staff?...mmmm... another debate!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Library Music Video Made in Dunedin

A Message from Rainy and Geva who made the movie:
"Thanks for your message and glad you like the video. Please feel free to embed it. We'll be performing for New Zealand Music Month at the Dunedin Public Library on May 11th at 12.30 lunchtime - would love to see you there, we like to befriend as many librarians as possible!

Thanks again!

Haunted Love (Rainy and Geva)"

Monday, April 16, 2007

Inside the Brain an Interactive Tour

"What happens in the brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease? This tour explains how the brain works and how Alzheimer's affects it. Taking the tour: There are 16 interactive slides. Move forward or back one slide at a time by clicking on the arrows. You can also jump to any slide by clicking on its number at the top of each page. As you view each slide, roll your mouse over any colored text that appears on each page to highlight special features of each image."Excellent tour with wonderful anatomical graphics. Also has some good links to other Alzheimer sites.

commonly confused words explained

Very handy website for essay writing tips

Open University learning units (Nursing)

Hi there,
For those of you who are in the Nursing School, you might want to take a look at these learning units from the Open University (UK). They come under a Creative Commons License. I think they're worth a look.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Interesting article on PowerPoint

This link was sent to me by Merrolee. Makes interesting reading