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The future of learning: Your views

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(CNN) -- What's the most valuable lesson you've learnt? Has school or life taught you more? What do you think is the future of education? Share your thoughts and we'll print the best ones here.


From: Chrystyna Lucyk, Dornbirn, Austria
Date: November 24, 2007
Your view:
The story about Shibuya University is very exciting! As a teacher in adult education, I know first hand how important it is for those of us at the podium to be open to learning from our students. Technology -- if not abused -- can be essential toward making world peace a reality... knowledge, however, is irreplaceable in that process. And with such an open institution like Shibuya, the ways to knowledge are forged. My hats off to you!

From: Mark Stevens, Aberdeen, Scotland
Date: November 5, 2007
Your view:
Wikipedia is great!!! The possibility of data being modified to suit agendas, pranks or vandalism does raise concerns as to the value for research or general knowledge. That said though, even main stream, peer reviewed, research is at times fraught with inaccuracies coloured by agendas and ignorance and in many cases know-it-all attitudes. History is evidence enough of that... So for the purposes of research, the best approach will be to use multiple, unbiased sources, which could be hard to find. But that is the nature of research... Its accessibility is its prime value. Although not all humans have access to the internet and although accessibility will certainly improve over time with the development of newer technologies, no manmade knowledgebase will ever be perfect. As a repository for the collective knowledge of all humans it is invaluable because unlike in the days of old, knowledge is not only the domain of the privileged elite. Every human, old & young, has some valuable knowledge to share, for it is only the experiences in life that reveals the wisdom of nature. There is no such a thing as invention, there is only discovery.

From: leslie theseira, Singapore
Date: November 5, 2007
Your view:
Wikidpedia is a convenient first-glance type of source for information and knowledge because of its scope and sufficient depth of content. . On reading the relevant material, each reader can, if there is any reason for any sense of uncertainty, make further reference to other similarly accepted and respected sources of substance for confirmation as to the accuracy, deficiency or inordinate extravagant verbosity in the material posted therein.

From: Mark Moisan, Portland, OR
Date: November 5, 2007
Your view:
I understand academic concerns about wikipedia not being peer reviewed, however, I believe that it is as trustworthy as 'traditional' media sources ... the article makes reference to an error in an article about the Kennedy assassination ... many traditional media will have those errors in them forever, wiki's lasted only 4 months. Wiki is here to stay ... figure out a better way to make it work or step aside.

From: Richard Cottingham, Minneapolis, MN
Date: November 4, 2007
Your view:
Wikipedia? Useless rubbish. Completely untrustworthy. The old "a camel is a horse designed by a committee" joke to the power of infinity!

From: Nancy Elizabeth Shaw, Boston, MA
Date: November 4, 2007
Your view:
As a professional researcher, strategist and analyst, I love to have a look at what Wikipedia has to say as part of my general research when I am starting a project. It sparks my questions and improves the way I approach a problem, because I get a quick look at quite a bit of information with no effort.

However, I would like to caution all my less ambitious fellow researchers, from high-school to early career, who may in fact succumb to the ease with which information appears in this source:

Use Wikipedia as a starting point. Use the information there as your hypotheses to be tested. Then go to the professional journals, other print sources, individual expert interviews, expert databases and government sources to create a "convergence analysis." Use both primary sources -- research from journals -- and secondary sources -- articles written by people like me. Balance your information results with the expertise of the source and make your final critical judgment and report only after you have seen your topic from all angles. You will be amazed at how different your conclusions might be than if you simply take the Wiki information at face value.

If you take this systematic, more detailed approach, you will become a much more sophisticated consumer of information. Soon it will not be possible to accuse an entire generation of intellectual sloth - which those of us who came before you are wont to do in these times of electronically plagiarized term papers and all the rest. You will personally and professionally benefit by using your mind and your critical abilities to a huge degree - and the time you steal away from e-mailing, blogging, FaceBook, World of Warcraft or your iPhone texting, you will never miss.

From: Elizabeth Ross, Irwin, PA
Date: November 2, 2007
Your view:
As the CEO of a non-profit arts and education corporation, I constantly find myself holding my tongue when asked where I learned the most. I try to encourage kids to stay in school and read more books while thinking that I learned more outside the classroom. Constantly I wonder if the quest for the pieces of paper from institutions of learning is short-changing our potential as a society. We "need" the degrees and certificates to make decent wages, but very little of what is learned to get them is actually used in the real world. My father was an example of that - when he retired as a systems analyst, it took two engineering graduates several months to figure out how to do his job. He was replaced by two people with degrees, and he didn't have one. And now I follow in his footsteps, holding my own in interactions with people with advanced degrees in education, English, and the arts, without a degree of my own. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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