The chapter begins by explaining that normal encyclopaedias can become outdated and access to these encyclopaedias can be impossible or inconvenient which I believe to be true but I do also believe that they are a great source of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.