Wikipedia

Last week in my reflection, I mentioned that I feel Wikipedia has a place in the classroom — however, I know there are still some out there that disagree.

With that said, tonight I was passing back over some reading from last semester and came across a chapter in the book about wikis. Will Richardson states, “And the fact is that whether or not we like the concept of Wikipedia, I think we need to teach Wikipedia to our students. Why? Well, first, because they are already using it in their research, whether we like it or not” (57-8).

Our students are already using it. Thus, it is our job to teach them how to use it correctly. Help them understand and differentiate sources out there — not limit them, but give them the tools to be critical consumers so that they can ultimately be critical producers in our classrooms and their every day lives…

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2 thoughts on “Wikipedia

  1. True! I always tell my students that they can START at Wikipedia – not use the source, but go to the bottom of the page and follow THEIR sources. But it’s also a great tool when talking about valid/reliable media. 🙂 I don’t think I could ever accept it as a valid source on a research paper, though. But if it helps kids find more articles they wouldn’t ordinarily find…then I’m all for it.

    • Great point! Using it as a way to link into more resources, ideas, etc. is a key part of why I think Wikipedia “works.” I like to show students the “external links” section, for example, to help branch out to a variety of sources.

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