I have discovered a new site that has great potential, as far as I am concerned. Qwiki went live only about a couple of weeks ago, but it is amazing in concept and has a very attractive presentation. I am already addicted to it! Any time I want to learn about something, I first navigate to Qwiki. Not every single topic known to man is available on Qwiki as yet, but I can see application both in the classroom and as a general reference guide for everyone! I also just think it is fascinating, but that is definitely a reflection of my delight in information and learning in general.
The only issue with Qwiki that I really have currently is the that the computerized voice reading the Qwikis sometimes makes awkward mispronunciations. Actually though, this can be amusing, as when it pronounced, "spacetime" as "spaa-see-time." No really, there is a button to push right on the page which allows you to mention anything you think will improve the Qwiki you just watched (*they are all one minute or less long*), with a place to let the Qwiki team know about pronunciation errors.
The truly exciting part about these very brief Qwikis is that related Qwikis appear at the end of the one you watched, and then more at the end of the next one, which means that if you wish, you can be learning in one minute bites for quite some time. It is like web surfing all in one place. One thing leads to another, and you can watch one in a minute or less, so you still have plenty of time to explore other aspects of the topic, or start over very quickly. Another aspect that I find appealing is that pictures are appearing and moving around that you may click on to expand at anytime.
I think that students and teachers alike should look into this resource! Children can be exposed to a variety of topics or study one in depth. Further developments are in the works, and many more topics will be added in the future.
On a side note, too bad many people think that Wikipedia is a poor source of information. It is not, generally. I for one use it frequently to find information (although I am forbidden by most professors to use the information in writing papers...sadly). The only issue I have with Wikipedia is that there is a great deal of text to wade through, and often it is somewhat repetitive. However, I have done many, many checks for accuracy on information I first found through Wikipedia, and never found wrong information... In fact, the most common way I look things up for papers is by finding it in Wikipedia or another "unacceptable" source, and then using the information that I find to conduct a more precise search for what I want, or using the bibliography from the Wikipedia article, go to the original source of the information. Quite silly that Wikipedia does not have the reputation it deserves!
I can see Qwiki becoming a side-by-side resource for Wikipedia as well. Doug Imbruce, the CEO of Qwiki says, "Information becomes an experience that I can watch." If you go to the Qwiki About Us webpage you can watch the introduction of the concept by the creators of Qwiki, as well as read more about the artificial intelligence that is being developed there. This is a thought-provoking concept, and I am excited about it!