Before I start I want to thank everyone for taking the time out to read and comment on my blog post this week. This week’s topic on Wikipedia is definitely an interesting one that we all are familiar with. This module really helped to educate me and change my perspective of the use and accuracy of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is essentially a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit which is why Wikipedia is so popular and at the same time so controversial as well. There are so many different opinions when it comes to Wikipedia which is why I was interested in reading your comments. After reading the blogs of my group members it seems that most of us view Wikipedia with some skepticism, which I personally think is a good thing. And it seems that most of us are so cautious when it comes to Wikipedia because of our Professors and teachers who have discouraged the use of the site completely.
After reading this week’s readings my perspective about Wikipedia has shifted a little bit more towards a more positive light. I understand why Professors and teachers discouraged the use of Wikipedia but now I believe that instead of teaching students to avoid the use of Wikipedia completely, teachers should educate us on how Wikipedia works. Students need to know how to and when to use Wikipedia. If used properly it can help further the research process. By explaining the functions of Wikipedia and the way it is operated, a student can learn to make their own judgment when it comes to using Wikipedia. This way they will understand that anyone can edit or alter information on a Wikipedia article therefore it is vital to confirm any information retrieve from a Wiki page.
In my blog post I refereed to Wikipedia as being “democratic’ because I think it exists to empower and engage people around the world. Wikipedia is somewhere we can collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain of the website. We can do this freely and without any restrictions that is what I meant by “democratic”. My train of thought was essentially revolving around what the Wikipedia community and its quasi-tribal rule of law will allow as appropriate contributions or edits to the site. From the comments below it seems that most of my peers agree that Wikipedia is most useful for retrieving quick and fast information. I think it’s most popular for being an informal research tool. Although I personally and some of my peers too, use Wikipedia for quick searches, from a general consensus it seems that we still believe it is not appropriate to source statistics, dates, or facts from Wikipedia. I still believe that Wikipedia is a useful research tool that has so much potential to grow and improve. So I’m definitely team Wikipedia!