Resources for “Say Yes to Wikipedia”

I will be presenting a session at the Martin Institute’s Teaching for Tomorrow Conference tomorrow entitled “Say Yes to Wikipedia.” My presentation is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CST and will be available on the conference wiki. You will be able to virtually connected through the Ustream broadcast or join the backchannel by using the #yeswikipedia hashtag for my session or the #micon hashtag for the overall conference on Twitter. If the technology cooperates, I’ll be using a TodaysMeet backchannel for those in the session as well as the conference Twitter stream. I’d appreciate your feedback on the session and/or links to other resources. I hope the session will be useful and that I can keep up. /pc

  • Wikipedia is an amazing resource, but it’s not always clear what helps to ensure that the articles are factual and high quality. This video discusses wiki technology and the policies that make Wikipedia work. We worked with the Wikimedia Foundation to ensure that it reflects Wikipedia’s values and practices. It teaches: why an online encyclopedia is needed, the basics of editing a wiki website, how volunteers work to ensure quality, and the two big rules that govern every article.

  • Wikipedia can be used for various assignments: for example, students can be asked to reference an unreferenced article or create a completely new one. In doing so, students will see that writing an article is not a ‘tedious assignment’ but an activity that millions do ‘for fun’. By submitting their work to Wikipedia students will see their work benefiting – and being improved upon – by the entire world.

  • Lisa recently wrote that innovative educators don’t say hand it in, they say publish it. This simple phrase conveys with great efficiency and elegance the notion that the work students produce should live beyond the classroom they sit in, and the grade they earn. This is easier said than done.

  • “two ways to use Wikipedia to improve learning outcomes in your classes.”

  • “I have to admit that I was one of those teachers that banned Wikipedia. Now I’m teaching it. Go figure.” Includes a lesson overview & reflection.

  • Despite Wikipedia’s shortcomings and the “unreliable” nature of its content, the Web site can still be a helpful research tool for students. Using it effectively requires understanding the site’s strengths and flaws, and applying this knowledge to access quality information.

  • “Like any encyclopedia, the online resource Wikipedia is not a perfect reference guide; however, it is an excellent place for students to start the research process and has immense pedagogical value for teachers.”

  • A tutorial video created by North Carolina State University Libraries.

  • Some professors believe Wikipedia has no place in the footnotes of a college paper. But could it have a place on the syllabus? The Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that does fund-raising and back-end support for the popular open-source encyclopedia, says yes. So do the nine professors at prominent colleges who have agreed to make creating, augmenting, and editing Wikipedia entries as part of their students’ coursework.

  • Wikipedia can be used as a tool for teaching students how to evaluate sources and think critically.

  • Reflections on the use of Wikipedia in the University of British Columbia’s course SPAN312, “Murder, Madness, and Mayhem: Latin American Literature in Translation,” Spring 2008.

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