Monday, September 20, 2010

The Story behind a Wikipedia Entry

Liz Exo’s Blog Post:

I was really interested to read this article for many reasons; first of all, Wikipedia seems to be under such a hot debate in the world of education. As a student, I find Wikipedia to be useful when researching basic information about topics that are unfamiliar to me. It’s a great place to start, in my opinion. However, throughout high school all of my teachers have strictly denied Wikipedia as a credible source, saying that anyone can add information to the pages. While this is true that anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, there is a story behind it.

In the article the author says that the ability to continually edit Wikipedia entries is very beneficial. From a historical perspective, it is really important that we document what everyone has written about a certain topic. For example, the author writes about the Iraq War Wikipedia entry, and how all of the edits have been documented in a series of books. This means we have everything that was written about the war in a physical copy. This allows us to look back into history to get the whole picture, as opposed to history textbooks that sometimes just give one side of the story. So overall, I think Wikipedia is changing the way we document our history, and it’s for the better.

4 comments:

medwards said...

You bring up a really interesting point. I hear a lot of debate and complaining over the way history is recorded in textbooks and whether or not essential pieces have been left out, changed, or added. Recording history basically as it happens through Wikipedia and into a book would virtually eliminate the doubt the comes with recording it retroactively.

Annie Tillmann said...

It's a really cool concept, and I'm all for it. Like Liz said, most teachers frown upon the usage of Wikipedia as a source, but I kind of disagree with . Because Wikipedia is constantly being updated, and there is the opportunity for any one to post anything, there are people that make a living scouring Wikipedia for false info now, which as one professor I had makes it almost more reliable than anything else.

Annie Tillmann said...

It's a really cool concept, and I'm all for it. Like Liz said, most teachers frown upon the usage of Wikipedia as a source, but I kind of disagree with . Because Wikipedia is constantly being updated, and there is the opportunity for any one to post anything, there are people that make a living scouring Wikipedia for false info now, which as one professor I had makes it almost more reliable than anything else.

eschmidt said...

I personally love wikipedia. Whenever I come across a term, place or idea that I am not familiar with, I automatically consent wikipedia. I have found that wikipedia has the most concise an useful information than any other online source. Searching through a plethora of "credible" websites where the information is jumbled and difficult to locate can be frustrating and a waste of time. I would much rather consult wikipedia.
Many argue that wikipedia is not a credible source because anyone has access to changing information. However, how can we be certain that anything is a truly credible source? History is constantly changing and information is processed and written based on the perspective that the person is coming from. For example, for many years, schools celebrated the arrival of Columbus as a historical event that marked the discovery of our country. However, in recent years, this celebration has subdued after the consideration of the affect that this had on the people that were indigenous to our country. However, at some point in time, this celebration came from a 'credible' source.
Overall, I would like to see wikipedia used more in the classroom. Though sometimes false information can be found on this site, this could be a powerful learning experience in studying a variety of sources of information to find a conclusion that seems most accurate.