The arguments that professors make for not including WikiPedia and other encyclopedias as sources is because anyone can edit them to their own perspective, bias, or just flat out wrong information. The Lords of Academicstan must feel threatened as the gatekeeper of information in a supposedly free and open society. Never mind the community generally rats out the offending parties and make the fixes necessary to truth to appear and be somewhat trusted. Even if the community does not address the posts or musings, there are alternative sources of info which may be more trustworthy, relevant, or even interesting to use and choose. With the NSA leaks, Wikileaks, IRS targeting groups, and other invasions of privacy, the last bastion of independent thought, our university system does not need to succumb to the temptations of the command/control police state. Besides, it is a great way to cite brain matter that has entered and exited the brain through various means over the years which is generally accepted as being true, factual, or representative.
This little ditty was an assignment in one of my graduate school classes that seemed to be obvious enough to be taken for granted. Productivity tools in the Windows world. The assignment did not specifically mention one environment over another because these tools are available in the Macintosh and Linux realms as well. Having been intimate with technology for most of my adult life, would feel lost and confused if Microsoft Office never came around and became a dominant force in how I interact with friends, family, co-workers, agencies, and educational institutions. Expert consideration at Word, Excel, PDF, and Corel Paint Shop Photo Pro with Intermediate work in PowerPoint, Access, Photoshop, and Visio which in 2013 only allows staying in the tech and employment room, not stand out because this is expected. Throughput can always be improved by slaying the dragon that is procrastination and fighting the urge to produce “get by, mediocre” work. This is not rocket science, just teaching and learning with technology. Without these and other tools, there is no point in getting up in the AM to instruct hormonally raised boys and girls for 8 hours each day for a wage that is not much greater than working at QuikTrip but much more important in the grand experiment named life. No amount of technology will substitute for knowledge and wisdom, mandatory traits of successful educators in all eras.
In a way, proper blog writing is akin to academic writing, without most of the APA (American Psychological Association) baked writing standards in Academicstan, you know, the same land that banishes Wikipedia to 3rd class citizen standards. The name Fertile Mind was chosen because this author attempts to think outside the box when it comes to getting a point across. It may seem quirky and non-conformist at times, but the charge is to never be dull. This blog will take the KISS (Keep It Simple for Students) mantra and will replace Students with Straightforward (Newby, et al., 2003). Along those lines are clear and succinct prose and argument making. Students and educators lead busy lives, no point in wasting their time with word salad. Minds can wander, blog posts cannot; topic limitation becomes paramount for success. Simple, low resolution graphics that are incorporated because most of the audience is still on 1st generation “broadband” or even dial-up that have visited the blog for information, education, or even entertainment. Navigation support is built-in this and other blogs via templates which also covers accessibility. The list continues for all of the tips that the “experts” state leading to a successful blog site. The level of success is to be determined over time.
Newby, T. J., Stepich, D. A., Lehman, J. D., Russell, J. D., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. (2011). Educational technology for teaching and learning (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.