Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wikipedia for School Work?

Oh, Wikipedia...what shall we do with you?

I'm so torn. I use Wikipedia myself regularly. But...not for academic work. What is a teacher to do?

This piece came up in my Twitter feed yesterday. It's a pretty thoughtfully written piece, though I'm not thoroughly convinced by his arguments.

Of course, I had a piece published back in the Spring of 2011 that basically makes the same argument (you can read it on pp12-15), but I was thinking more of elementary, middle, and high schools here.

Why does it feel different in Higher Ed? Because I clearly advised my freshmen in Intro to Education to not use Wikipedia as a source for a recent research project.

Do I need to get over myself here? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this...


  1. Honestly and as a student, I like Wikipedia... but I only really use it as a quick summary for a concept I'm trying to explain. The first sentence on every article really helps with that. Plus, any good article has source material at the bottom of the page, so if I go on Wikipedia, I usually just use it as the middleman to get to the REAL information.

    1. See, I think you're right on there, Katie. Wikipedia is the gateway, not the destination, right?

      I'm still wrestling with how I should use Wikipedia in Higher Ed. If I like it for ms/hs students, shouldn't I like it for college and beyond? And if not, why not? Is it just cultural inertia? More reflection needed...