Originally Posted by Tom Swift
It is too bad that Wikipedia is slowly becoming the information standard to the world. Apple has integrated it in its new OS and now Amazon has as well. I work at a high school and no teacher allows their students to use it as a reference source, yet how do you tell the kids it is worthless as a proper reference when it is touted everywhere?
I am always surprised at the people who criticize Wikipedia. No, it's not 100% accurate, but it's a very good FREE resource tool. As with anything, you should always check back-up sources, but is there anything even close to having as much info and as easy to use? It has links to most of it's sources and in my experience has been accurate most of the time. Besides the very IDEA of Wikipedia is pretty cool, for the most part the self-policing policies are pretty good.
Sure, every once in a while you have someone prank on it, but for the most part if you see something that isn't accurate, then you can change it and list your sources. IMHO, the schools that outright ban it rather than show examples of how to use it (or any resource material for that matter) appropriately are making themselves look silly.
The students just use it at home anyway and laugh at how lame and out of touch the teachers are. My son is 17, so I have plenty of real world experience in that!
Now I have the utmost respect for any teacher here or anywhere, but I do have to say that in some of my meetings with my son's teachers, there is a lot of "well we didn't get to do that when we were their age, so they don't get to do it either" attitude.
Sometimes adaptation is a good thing. Just because I had to actually go to a library, find a dictionary and look up a word rather than "google" it, doesn't make "googling" a dictionary bad. It just makes it easier to look up a word. Same thing with Wikipedia or other online research tools. Of course, this is just my IMHO.