Monday, 15 June 2009

Thinking about the history of Higher education it is possible to see a tension between encouraging what we might loosely call ‘free thought’ and enforcing academic conformity. I suspect but cannot easily demonstrate that this tension is not new, but is probably as old as Higher Education itself.

I think it is possible to argue that Web 2 (using the term broadly) tips the balance of academic power towards ‘free thought’. On H800 we have encountered a variety of tools and articles which support this, from this I am selecting two. My first is Wikipedia and Baker’s article in the Guardian. ( . Obviously we now have access to information which was perhaps available before, but was certainly not so easy to access. However Wikipedia is not just opening up access to knowledge, it is passing control of ‘knowledge’ from the many to the few. Web 2 is changing the way knowledge is stored and safeguarded. Wikipedia offers the chance for each and every one of us to add our bit to the commonwealth of what we know. More to come…

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