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September 22, 2011

I am late with this post because I have been speaking about this on facebook. So if you’ve been there already this might be a recap for you.

My oldest daughters researcher she had done was discounted as being wrong and she was told to redo it because she used Wikipedia as her research source. The teacher did not look at the facts she had down, just told her to redo it.

The Cons of Using Wiki;

-it can be altered by anyone not just the originator of the article.
-the information contained in it might be biased and/or inaccurate.

Th Pros of Using Wiki;

-great for basic facts
-hub for links to other sources of information (using the citation links)
-easy access when time doesn’t allow for hitting up the local library.

There are right and wrong ways to use Wikipedia. To use it as the basis of your entire research would be amiss but to use it as a starting place and to verify your facts I can’t for the life of me understand why not.

I understand the side of the teachers in that they don’t want the kids to use it as the basis of their research but as a starting ground its not a bad place to start and branch out from there.

I guess what’s irritating me is that the teacher didn’t even bother to see if the facts she had researched were valid just wrote them off as wrong given the source. In the end I’m going to have to teach my daughter how to go about citing the information she gleans off the web and make sure that she uses credible sources.

And as for the great debate about using the internet at all for research. Yes her teacher allows them to use their websites for the kids to research from but not others. As yet I have not checked into the validity of their sites however I will be.

To also include my favorite source of information in this great debate books too can be biased and inaccurate. It all depends on who has written them.

Everything is subject to interpretation and bias if you come right down to it.

At the end of the day we as people have to make sure we double check anything we read or hear.

Until tomorrow…

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