Wikipedia links used to build smart reading lists – tech – 02 January 2007 – New Scientist Tech

From the “so cool it is uncanny” department…

Software that generates a list of reading material tailored to a person’s individual interests has been developed by a PhD student in the US.

Alexander Wissner-Gross, a physics student at Harvard University, teaches a course to under-graduates student at his university. While preparing the reading list for his course, he began to wonder about ways to automate the process. (Check out his paper about this topic.)
Wissner-Gross says he saw similarities between the structure of his course and the way information is connected via links in Wikipedia, a free online encyclopaedia written and edited by volunteers.

“Increasingly, a net user who wants to learn more about a subject will read its Wikipedia page,” he adds. “However, for further depth in the subject, there has been no system for advising the user which other [Wikipedia] articles to read, and in which order.”

Wikipedia links used to build smart reading lists – tech – 02 January 2007 – New Scientist Tech

I have often thought about how designing a course syllabus in a digital environment would be a challenge. As the course moves on — and students’ interest in particular topics evolve — and new articles, blog posts, and media items are released, how can the syllabus that you made in January still be 100% relevant in April?

This seems to be a wonderful method for engaging students in continually updated and engaged professional reading.

Thanks, Cherice, for the link.

Author: Troy Hicks

Dr. Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Hicks has authored numerous books, articles, chapters, blog posts, and other resources broadly related to the teaching of literacy in our digital age. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

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