Wikipedia and Students

wikipedia.jpg

I’m one of those people who sees the good side of Wikipedia. I think it is a perfect example of the collaboration, sharing and self-publishing aspects of wikis. When I train educators on the use of wikis I always suggest that they have their students contribute to Wikipedia through a class project. Have your students be part of the solution and not part of the problem. I’m wondering… have any of you had your students contribute to Wikipedia? If so, I would love to hear about it.

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4 Responses to “Wikipedia and Students”


  1. 1 Sage February 18, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    As a TA I’m running Wikipedia assignments with my students this semester, each student chooses an article and adds about a paragraph of material based on (and citing) the course readings.

    Last semester I ran a more extensive assignment, in which each student selected a topic poorly represented on Wikipedia and researched and wrote a complete article. This was the final paper for the course.

    A lot of others have run assignments as well. See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2006-12-26/Wikipedia_and_academia

    and

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:School_and_university_projects

  2. 2 Judy February 19, 2007 at 9:13 am

    I like the “Suggested Exercises” because they would also apply to K-12 students. I think the more we demonstrate to educators how wikis can be used in the curriculum the more they will see the benefits.

  3. 3 Mary Miner February 21, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    A music teacher asked for my input on a project he was assigning his IB Music class on World Music. He was going to be out for a few days and came to me to schedule the tech lab for their research. The kids were to be doing research on World Music and putting their information on a poster to share with the class. Rather than gather all this digital information and simply publish it to paper, I suggested they post it on a wiki also. I promised the teacher that he would not have to do a thing. I would set it up and the kids would take it from there. Was that ever an understatement! I gave the kids the site name and password and told them “I am not going to teach you how to do this because I know you can figure it out – no one taught you how to use MySpace or Facebook– you just figured it out and you can figure this out too.” Did they ever figure it out! And they took it beyond my expectations. Rather than just talking about the music – we have links to audio files, rather than just talking about dance, we have Google and Youtube video of world music and dance.
    http://iaworldmusic.pbwiki.com/

    And this was just the start. Once I shared this with other teachers, they were game to give it a go to. This past week after introducing this concept to freshmen, they applauded! The lab has never been so quiet with kids so engaged – they even worked from home on the snow days. This is still in progress — http://iaspanishculture.pbwiki.com/

    This also saves a lot of time for kids doing group projects. They have anytime, anywhere availability (with a computer and internet connection) and all the projects are in one spot when it is time for the classes to give their presentations.

  4. 4 Judy February 21, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Very nice wikis! Great content! I was talking to a colleague yesterday about how teachers often give students directions and then let them at it on their own and your students sure did just that with the wikis. As you told them “No one taught you how to use MySpace or Facebook!”


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