Portfolio Should Students Use Wikipedia (David C)


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Portfolio Should Students Use Wikipedia (David C)

  1. 1. Should students use Wikipedia?
  2. 2. Pros • It is an free online website, which means it is accessible to anyone. • Contains millions of articles in dozens of diferent languages. • Free-editing policy allows a wider variety ideas to be included in the articles • It is particularly useful for highschool and, to some degree, university students.
  3. 3. Issues • With the free-editing policy, users may edit information in existing articles without even registering to wikipedia.org. – Existing articles may get purposely vandalized as pranks or because of political reasons. For example articles related to history might be altered in order to favor a particular side. – People who just want to contribute to Wikipedia may not have the sufficient knowledge to provide accurate information in a particular subject.
  4. 4. • In order to create articles, only a free user account is needed. – Fake articles may be created as pranks, as defamation strategies or to favor an individual or group. – Wikipedia editors may write biased articles, even if they try to be unbiased, they may do it subconsciously.
  5. 5. Vandalism Cases • There have been many cases where famous people have been pronounced ‘dead’ in Wikipedia articles.
  6. 6. Real life examples • Several educational institutions have started to officially ban the use of Wikipedia as a primary research source. • Such institutions include prestigious high schools and universities such as UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania. • The International Baccalaureate has recently implemented a policy which forbids citing Wikipedia.org as a main resource in coursework.
  7. 7. • Ted Stevens, a US senator has proposed to completely ban Wikipedia.org from public institutions such as schools, libraries and state universities, arguing that it may confuse younger students.
  8. 8. Solutions • Educational institutions may ban wikipedia.org if necessary. By doing so, students will have no option but research in other sources. This would decrease the number of inaccuracies submitted by students in their tasks. • Wikipedia.org could also implement stronger policies in order to ensure the safety of its content. Only certified users should be allowed to edit information in existing articles, and only qualified professionals should be able to create new articles.
  9. 9. • By implementing such policy, money will be needed by wikipedia.org to pay professionals to write articles. • These costs will be covered by charging a fee to users; Wikipedia.org would be more inaccessible, but the quality of its content will be higher.