Wikipedia In Education

1426 Words 6 Pages
Current technology such as laptops and internet, has allowed the growth of collaborative learning by giving people instant access to information, the best example of which is Wikipedia. There is no doubt that Wikipedia is the largest online encyclopedia now, but it is still uncommon to see the use of Wikipedia in classrooms. The truth is, Wikipedia is one of the best candidates for learning tools, because of its collaborative nature. The reason behind the unpopularity of Wikipedia is that many focus only on the downside of the collaboration on Wikipedia.
Nowadays, because of the instance access to vast amount of information provided by the internet, peer knowledge production rather than individual learning is an ideal mode of learning, as
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The value of the peer knowledge production cannot be undermined by the fact that the knowledge produced is not accurate. After all, not all the Wikipedians are professionals. After concluding that some of the Wikipedia debates are shallow, Luyt still goes on to point out: “But here we have a good example of Wikipedia’s potential to enable collaboration and interaction between people scattered globally”(450). To make use of Wikipedia in classrooms, both teachers and students should shift the main usage of Wikipedia from accessing information to contributing information, which does not simply mean correcting a grammar error. In Cathy N. Davidson’s “Collaborative Learning in The Digital Age”, she first notes that student write better with peer review: “people take their writing more seriously when it will be evaluated by peers than when it is to be judged by teachers”(286). Granted this observation, she asks student in her class to edit each one entry on Wikipedia, and the students admit that it is “harder to get their work to ‘stick’ on Wikipedia than it [is] to write a traditional term paper”(286). Providing the editors with detailed reference guidelines,Wikipedia encourages references for editing, and lines that are not supported by substantial source is marked on the article, which means students often need dig into the subject that he/she is …show more content…
While most people agree that Wikipedia is the largest accessible common knowledge database, many do not see Wikipedia’s great potential as a place for peer knowledge production, as many view it unreliable. Being unreliable should not be the reason for keeping Wikipedia out of the classrooms. What needs to be implemented is a change in the usage of Wikipedia: because of the potential inaccuracy, teachers do not need to encourage the use of Wikipedia as a source of academic information. The use of Wikipedia should resemble a group project, where the participants are the editors from around the world. As developing critical thinking is often being emphasized in education, using Wikipedia as a learning tool is definitely something

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