Case for Wikipedia use in School


Alright im about to rant a little bit on something a teacher said about using wikipedia for class assignments.

So I walk in the first day of class and on the board is a big WIKIPEDIA = OUTLAWED sign on it. When I saw this I just cringed and knew that the teacher is clearly ignorant of how wikipedia works and how it should be used. Wikipedia is the single biggest source of information on the internet. It seems that every other search I type into google ends up sending me to a Wikipedia site. First assignment that she assigns is to find out why Greenland settlements were abandoned in 1450. So I go on google and try to find this information avoiding wikipedia at all costs. First I turn to the other search results skipping any entries to wikipedia.

Not to my surprise it took me about an hour to find some credible information to what happened in that time period. This information end up being very similar to what was on the sites that I skipped on wikipedia. Using it would have saved me about 45mins in finding this information. This the point when I decided to post this blog. I then went to a site called www.britannica.com which is an official “encyclopedia”. The entry for all of greenland in Britannica was about a 1/4 of a page while I had at least 4 pages on wikipedia and no where on the britannica site could I find that Greenland was abandoned by its european settlers in 1450. Thats when I did a comparison search for wikipedia vs. britannica and found this http://news.cnet.com/Study-Wikipedia-as-accurate-as-Britannica/2100-1038_3-5997332.html it claims that Wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica

This is not the first time I have had a college professor tell its class that Wikipedia is inaccurate. I think the professors should understand that like all encyclopedias, Wikipedia is second hand information and needs to be validated before using it as a source (Wikipedia also seems to do a better job of citing its information than Britannica).  Instead they should take the time to explain that the information needs to be verified with the original sources cited on the site. This goes every other site a student borrows information from since. Saying that WIKIPEDIA = OUTLAWED is just a hugly ignorant comment that does not have any basis.

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