Fundraising 2007/Why Give blog/Contribute in Honor of Teachers

We must admire the student who makes a profession of knowing and writing for they are the experts upon which our intellectual society depends. No doubt the student's love of learning has been rooted in the work of at least one exceptional teacher. Kudos to that teacher for the spark.

Kudos too for the teachers whose sparks only smoldered as their students moved on to a work-a-day world but have now been fanned into the blaze of amateur scholarship called Wikipedia. Yes, these students were also infected by a life-long love of learning and their teachers deserve kudos as well.

Note this simple fact: the economics of electronic distribution allows part-time, self-motivated learners to write and then be read. This is a good thing. It means that one need not give up on scholarship if one is unable to make it pay the bills. One must scale one's projects accordingly but one need not stop in their quest to produce informed and articulate literature.

Teachers have produced more scholars than they realized. Hurray. Electronic distribution makes these scholars visible. Hurray.

As you browse Wikipedia and find your curiosity stimulated by this work, please think kindly on the author's teachers and the investment in their education that society has made. And, as you think of them, remember that electronic distribution has made this possible but not without some cosst and that it is only our contributions that keep Wikipedia going.

Right now would be a good time to remember your best teachers, make a Wikimedia contribution with comment recalling the spark they gave you, and then start on the writing project that would make them proud.

Ward Cunningham invented the Wiki style of collaboration in 1995. He has been a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Advisory Board since its founding. He specifically remembers his 7th-grade social-studies teacher explaining the real politics present at the founding of Pakistan and had recently refreshed his memory on the subject reading Wikipedia. This post is his personal opinion, and does not represent an official statement from the Wikimedia Foundation.