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February 19, 2008 / Ben Chun

Wikipedia

I was out sick today, but wanted to get a new unit started with my 9th grade classes. I had them do a little opening exercise, writing what they know about Wikipedia, what they’ve heard about it, and what they’d like to know about it. Simple, but not bad for a 37-minute class with the teacher absent. Here are some of their posts:

Wikipedia is an online page that allows you to search for things online, like an online encyclopedia that is more detailed in the research. I have heard that not everything in Wikipedia is true, since almost anyone can edit the pages. I want to know we can search for things without worrying about if its true or not.

That’s probably the same answer a large percentage of adults about give. On the other hand:

I don’t know anything about Wikipedia. The only thing I know is that it shows up every time i type something into google; so i guess its an information source.

This next response seems to be a pretty good summary of the detractors’ typical position:

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, seriously anyone, you don’t need to sign up or anything. So with that I know many of the things on Wikipedia are inaccurate and based on opinions and bias. Everything that is accurate is open to vandalism unless the page is protected by the owners of Wikipedia.

Now for the teacher-driven stuff:

I know that Wikipedia is open for anyone to edit. I’ve heard from teachers that you shouldn’t use WIkipedia for information because sometimes it is false. I would like to know if there is a way to make sure all the information there is true and okay to use.

Contravening that:

On wikipedia you can look up information just like in a dictionary. I haven’t heard anything about wikipedia except that teachers tell you to get information from there. I want to know what wiki means.

This is my favorite so far:

I know that Wikipedia is a mostly credible source for a lot of info. I have heard that a lot of people have altered some Wikipedia pages, making them inaccurate. I want to know how to make a Wikipedia article.

I think that’s where I’m going with this one… wish me luck.

2 Comments

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  1. Dad / Feb 20 2008 2:58 pm

    Wiki from the Wiki Wiki Bus which is the intra-terminal transit system at the Honolulu Airport. wiki-wiki means to “go fast” but in a smooth and efficient manner.
    Before there were direct flights from the West Coast into the Hawaiian Islands, every arrival from had to come/go though Honolulu. The smaller inter-island airplanes are in a terminal about 1/4 to 1/2 mile away, connected by the Wiki Wiki Bus.

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