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Friday, January 14, 2011


How many times have you listened to an instructor diatrabe on the evils of Wikipedia?  And how many times have you used Wikipedia as a quick start to a research project or to look up some oddball fact?  Really, Wikipedia is here and we all use it.  Sure, there are factual errors, but on average it's pretty good.  (And there are factual errors in peer reviewed studies and documents also.)  A few mistakes are not a valid reason to throw the whole thing out.  What they are a valid reason for is teaching our students how best to use Wikipedia.  And that's not a lot different from teaching our students how to use any encyclopedia.  It's not peer-reviewed and it's not a primary source. You go there to get a good overview and to look at the citations.

Casper Grathwohl, the author of this article says it much better than I do:


1 comment:

  1. Another Wikipedia article in the Chronicle:

    "Rodney Dunican, education programs manager for Wikimedia, Wikipedia’s parent company, is part of the team working to build the platform, which he said will highlight the ways in which Wikipedia can be used to improve student learning.

    “We don’t want them to cite Wikipedia,” he said of students. “What we really want them to do is understand how to use and critically evaluate the articles on Wikipedia and then learn how to contribute to make those articles better.”"