In a recent conversations with one of my pre-service teaching students they made the comment that Wikipedia
“was a somewhat unreliable website.”
At the time I left the statement unchallenged. In the interim a couple of references to Wikipedia in a couple of guises have come in via the twitterstream. Alas I am unable to credit the tweeter as the tweets have disappeared however each including this clip from dumblittleman.com may assist my colleague to perhaps consider Wikipedia in a slightly more favourable light than that indicated by their comments.
Wikipedia is an ocean of information. While you may still want to seek secondary information sources before trusting it entirely, you cannot argue that the site contains a plethora of useful information.That said, it’s tough to navigate through so much data. You can get much more out of it in less time if you decide to ditch the conventional way of using the built-in Wikipedia search for scouring through the information. The following ten tools will help you search and use Wikipedia like never before. I am sure you’ll love using some of them.
Finding Dulcinea offers some really good commonsense tips on using Wikipedia in the Classroom and The Top 10 Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely on Wikipedia. At the former link you will find a link to a Guide to Understanding Wikipedia whilst the latter looks at some of the common misconceptions related to Wikipedia.
Whilst on the subject of things Wikipedia, it’s surprising also how few primary teachers know that SimpleWikipedia exists and is perhaps more useful to junior students than the full blown version albeit that not all entries in the full wikipedia are also referenced in the simple version.
Without getting into the pros and cons of Wikipedia, what other tips can you share in relation to the use of Wikipedia?