Session 7- Davis, J and Merchant, G (2009) Chapter 8: WIKI’s The Death of the Author

The chapter begins by explaining that normal encyclopaedias can become outdated and access to these encyclopaedias can be impossible or inconvenient which I believe to be true but I do also believe that they are a great source of information if you have access to them, depending on the information you are looking for. I also think that children should have experience of accessing encyclopaedias in school and finding information from them before using online wikis. It then goes on to state that Wikipedia is free of charge and the information provided is frequently updated; however the information may come from an unreliable source as people may be writing false information, or changing people’s information to something which is not true. Furthermore, people may publish their work as an anonymous user, and students, like myself, may not be able to use a suitable citation for the text that I have read, although I would personally not use Wikipedia to source my information for an assignment! I would also not ask pupils in my classroom to find and use information from Wikipedia because of how unreliable the information may be.

In addition, another benefit of Wikipedia is that current information and events get updated on the website not long after they occur. These are usually written by the people who are at these events, rather than journalists who produce their own story about that event, therefore it is more realistic and has many practical advantages. Another benefit which I like about Wikipedia are the hyperlinks which are embedded in the articles posted on the web page which can take you to different related articles where you can read and gain information from. 

The chapter also goes on to assert that the people behind Wikipedia ask the people who update the information on the website to write about information and their ideas in a ‘neutral’ way so they do not ‘sway’ the readers to agree to a particular view point which may be biased. I totally agree with this because seeing that anybody can edit information on the website, these people may hold particular views about a subject which can change people’s opinions and may cause controversy after they have read the article. 

I really like the idea of the teacher setting up a Wiki for the classroom, so the children and the teacher can post information no matter where they are in the world. The children are also able to support one another due to the fact that all of the students can access it and view it, and are able to edit their peers’ work. I also love the idea of keeping the Wiki from one year to the next so other students are able to build upon the information already provided. This is something that our Year 2 ICT Specialist class have started to work on at the moment and this is definitely something I would like to set up in my own classroom, and due to the knowledge I have of using a wiki I will be able to present this idea and give support to children efficiently.  


3 thoughts on “Session 7- Davis, J and Merchant, G (2009) Chapter 8: WIKI’s The Death of the Author

    • I think using wiki’s locally or internationally through school links is a really interesting idea. A task which I would like to give to the children in both of the schools would be to produce a fact file on the area that the children in the two classes live in, which is could be a geography lesson with a cross-curricular link to ICT. For example, if my school was situated in London, and the linking school was situated in Belfast, the two classes could teach each other about their area through their own research. Particular pairs, or groups of children could be given set topics, and collaboratively, they could produce information about their area. Furthermore, the fantastic thing about working in an online learning community is that the children can share information in all types of ways, including images, videos and sound.

      • I agree that there are many different uses and benefits of using wikis, locally and internationally. I think it is down to the teacher to know her class and to think what best way would suit their learning and how it will fit into their everyday lives at school. Teachers also need to take into consideration the added risks of using wikis as a learning tool in the classroom. The DFE (2013) suggest the importance of teachers and children understanding about e-safety and cyberbulling. The DFE (2013) give guidelines on what the teachers and children should do in the event on cyberbullying, I feel this is very positive as the teachers have a framework to follow.

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