Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thoughts on Wikipedia

Today I introduced my students to their next research project for communications class. Each were assigned a social media site and asked to answer some questions about its history, purpose, and use by individuals and businesses. We have quite a locked down web filter in our school at the present, so most of the sights they wanted to research about are blocked.

I told them flat out, other teachers may tell you to avoid Wikipedia, but I want you to use it. It might be your best source of information.

Yep. That's what I believe.


I told them..

Yes, pages get changed. Yes anyone can edit it. But, most pages that get messed with are the controversial ones.

If you're unsure if the page is correct, check another source like you should be doing anyways.

The footnotes of most Wikipedia pages are treasure troves of other resources you could check out.

People adopt and edit Wikipedia pages to make sure they stay clean. 

These pages may be the most up to date information you can find.

Use it.

Be critical of it.

Wikipedia is not bad.

It's good.


  1. Hey Mrs. Goerend,
    My name is Ryan Knight from EDM 310 from the University of South Alabama. I was assigned to your blog this week; which I'm thrilled to read! This blog post is very interesting, I have a different insight on the use of Wikipedia now that you uncovered the helpful sources that it entails. I definitely will utilize this source in my future studies and incorporate some of my lessons based upon the use of this tool within my future classroom. I enjoyed reading your blog posts, the information that you share is very helpful with the use of technology. I plan on featuring the our final comments on my blog this week, I' very honored to be able to learn more information on how to create higher ordered learning within the classroom. Hopefully, you can visit my blog soon. Thanks again for the knowledgeable information.

    1. Thanks for stopping by again, Ryan. My students just finished researching different social media sites for my communications class, and Wikipedia was awesome for them. They were able to use the source at the bottom of the page to further their research better than a Google search.

  2. I was always told that you should not use Wikipedia as a credible source for research papers, but it can be one of the best ones to use just like you said. I have actually known a few people who would test if they could actually change what Wikipedia said, but after about 5 to 10 minutes someone had deleted what they put on there. There are people who monitor Wikipedia so that they information is correct. It is good that at least some teachers allow students to use it because it has a lot of information that you are looking for!

  3. All throughout my years of doing research papers, teachers always said do not use wikipedia, and I always wondered why! I have the same thoughts on it as you. There is so much information there for you, and most of it is current and accurate!

    1. I totally agree. I think we do our students a disservice if we don't allow them to look at this source!

  4. I think it's great that you let your students use Wikipedia!

  5. Mrs Goerend,
    I enjoyed reading this blog post so much. Throughout the years being in public school, teachers always tell me never use Wikipedia because its a bad source. I disagree on that, but still continued use it anyways with researching. Yes it does get changed a lot, but I think it provides more information on the site than any other. I love the idea you gave to the students by letting them research a social media for the communication class. I will definitely use this example in the future whenever I have my own classroom. Thank you for share this post with us!

  6. I really love this post. Throughout my school years, it's always been a huge "no" "no" to use Wikipedia as a reliable resource. As a future educator, I would love to adopt your outlook on it. Wikipedia is a great way to get up to date information. As you stated, important information should be backed up by other sources, but Wikipedia is a great start in my opinion.