Will Richardson writes about the controversy over Wikipedia. Why are schools not embracing this resource?
Many talk about the errors that they find. We have all read about the errors in Britannica vs. Wikipedia and that as Wikipedia is much easier to edit, the errors are actually minimal and quickly correctable.
Will posts an example of errors from a Physics textbook that is astounding in the amount and the severity of the errors. Add to the fact that most teachers would not catch the errors, that the errors can only be fixed in subsequent revisions (we use our books for 7+ years), and it is really not just the errors that are at the issue, but the ever changing landscape of facts themselves that are difficult to keep up with.
Because of this post, I decided to search for errors in our Academic Biology book from Prentice Hall. The errors can be viewed here. My decision to stop using the textbook is purely not based on these errors. The textbook is useful as a reference resource, but as with all resources, double checking the information is critical. I have students approach Wikipedia the same way.
After all, critically assessing facts and using it for problem solving and content generation is a more appropriate use of these resources than it is to just list a fact.
Tags: Will Richardson, Wikipedia