Wikipedia is an excellent resource for for my classes.
- Its coverage of vast topics: It is the largest Encyclopedia in the world and growing every day.
- Its accuracy: Wikipedia is almost as accurate as Britannica. http://news.cnet.com/2100-1038_3-5997332.html
- Its availability: Available from any internet connection.
- Its cost: It is free.
Now of course I teach my students to use varied sources, to read critically, and to corroborate information, but that doesn’t mean that Wikipedia can’t help expand understanding and deepen the knowledge of my students. I use Wikipedia on a regular basis and I encourage my students to do so too. It’s often a great starting point, directing students to other sources.
For collaboration in my classroom we generally don’t use wikis. We use Google Docs. I am going to consider using wikis in the future for a project I’m thinking about developing, where my kids will write their own history book. Some students and parents don’t believe they should be working together with other students or that they should be creating public content. For those students and parents, I usually tell them that life is a team sport and the more effectively students learn to work with others, the better off in life and in work they will be.
For the concerns about creating content, we are living in a world where memorization has become less and less important and the ability to create your own content from your own ideas, and drawing on the ideas of others is much more important. I want to help your kids become critical thinkers and creatives who are able to be successful and make the world a better place.