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Is Wikipedia a reliable source of information?

Written by Adrienne Pisaniello
October 17, 2012

Recently, I posted a link to Alan November’s keynote speech at the 2012 Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards ceremony.  While initially I was intrigued about the idea of how to make home a center of learning for students (because a) parental involvement is one of the best indicators of students achievement and b) many of my students do most of their learning from home on a computer),  I was even more intrigued when he started talking about how we can help students think critically when using technology.  My students are asked to do research papers for class, and often this seems to amount toregurgitating information they find on wikipedia.  About halfway through the address, he cites an example where information was listed correctly on wikipedia, but not on a BBC website.   He then considers how educators can help students verify information they find while researching. 

As an English teacher, I must say at least once a week “Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information.”  Looks like I am going to have to eat my words in this case…

Says you:  What types of activities can we do with students to help them verify information they find on the internet? What tools can we give students to help them become researchers and critical thinkers in the age of technology?

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