Thursday, August 20, 2009
WikiPedia is one of the largest known Wiki applications. It comes in over 25 different languages and it's basic function is to provide information and resources on a large variety of subjects. It's open to all individuals to add and source information and it classifies itself as a free encyclopedia.
As the information posted on WikiPedia can come from any individual the academic world discourages it's use as a reliant source or quote. However, this is not to say that the information presented on its sites cant contain relevant information. One of WikiPedias main functions is to guide readers onto further information. It is here where relevant scholarly references and quotes can be used.
Take for example, my year six class is currently undertaking a topic on 'Where Does my Shopping Come From'? By typing into the wikipedia search bar 'nutrition' a wonderful informative piece comes up all about nutrition. It lists an overview of the topic than continues down to discuss relevant parts associated with nutrition. at the bottom of the page it's a topic with 'links to further readings'. This list of further readings are all resources i could use to support my teaching. I could make these websites available to students by posting them onto the class blog, including them in a web quest, or even allowing the students to do a scaffolded search themselves. On top of the list for further reading, wikipedia also provides you with a list of resources and external links. These too can becomes resources used to support my teaching.