Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia – Quotes for Education

I listened to Net@Nite today. They interviewed Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia and it was pretty interesting but had nothing to do with education. That did not stop me from applying some of these quotes directly to what we do.

“This idea of- it’s not really about the software, it’s about the people. It’s about helping people find resolutions to problems and being supportive and loving and at the same time being firm with people who are trying to disrupt things. That’s really what it’s all about.” – Jimmy Wales
“Ask anyone who’s every tried this. This is a very difficult balance to strike.”- Leo Laporte

Leo’s preaching to the choir here. That line is very hard to walk and it sounds an awful lot like good classroom management- but with voluntary students. I always wondered would my students stay if they didn’t have to. Did I make their experience that good? Sometimes I did. I know I also failed at times and that’s where the next quote came in-

“A long term project of learning, experimenting, you know trying things.” – Jimmy Wales

To me that’s teaching. A long term project of learning, experimenting and trying things. If you aren’t changing and experimenting and learning right along with your students something is wrong. Several of my disaster lessons led to my best teaching ideas. You can learn a lot from falling down.

“The most important thing is that it is fun. Just the fact that you can come in and meet other smart people who are interested in what you are interested in, get into to interesting dialogs and debates that are hopefully a little less contentious and flame-warish than most places on the Internet and really kind of seek the truth and I think people really enjoy that.” – Jimmy Wales

That’s the goal isn’t it? Imagine students grouped by interest, conversing and debating on topics they care about. Seeking truth and really enjoying it.

Trying to create that kind of community of truth seeking learners motivated by joy is what drives me to change our school.

-These quotes are based on my dictating ability so assume there are some mistakes. I am not a stenographer.