Wikipedia: What do experts think? What do students think? What do you think?

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Wikipedia: What do experts think? What do students think? What do you think?

Text of Wikipedia: What do experts think? What do students think? What do you think?

  • 1. What do experts think?What do students think?What do you think?

2. Introduction

  • All session materials and additional resources at
  • Request for your participation
    • Chat
    • Discussion tab
    • Take part in discussion of questions
  • Our panel
    • Matt Renfroe (moderator)
    • Karen Fasimpaur
    • Susan Brooks-Young
    • Randy Orwin

3. Wikipedia 4. Key facts

  • Freely available, open licensed
  • More than 3.5 million articles in English
  • Available in over 270 languages

5. What do experts think?

  • Wikipedia is the 5 thmost visited site on the Internet worldwide (ComScore)
  • Used by 42% of Americans, most popular with more educated, more affluent, and younger users(Pew)
  • Research has shown the accuracy of Wikipedia to be comparable to mainstream sources such as Encyclopaedia Britannica ( Nature , Thomas Jefferson University)

6. What do students think?

  • What is the first resource you to go when you are researching a topic for school? 76% - Google search
  • How often do you use printed reference books like encyclopedias for research? 55% - Less than once a month
  • How often do you use the Internet for research? 50% - Every day


  • How often do you use the Internet for research? 50% - Every day
  • How often do you use Wikipedia in particular for research? 45% - Less than once a month
  • Does your school allow you to use or cite Wikipedia? 40% - yes; 30% - no; 30% - dont know
  • (See presentation wiki page for full data.)

8. The Best Thing

  • The best thing about wikipedia is that they have some information that can help while searching for research info.
  • It has everything you need to know! And it gives examples but not too much so it's not like you are reading a book.
  • It allows you to have references to work from instead of actually using the site.

9. The Best Thing

  • Real people wrote it so it's more people friendly.
  • Wikipedia, being written by the general public as it is, is often surprisingly comprehensive. It gives details to things that other reference sites omit, and the pages are regularly cleared out of incorrect or irrelevant information.
  • That you can find anything. You can even find Star Wars facts.

10. The Worst Thing

  • It is updated by random people, who may know everything about a topic or nothing at all.
  • Anyone can update it, so the information can sometimes be unreliable.
  • Since it is user-edited, you have to verify it by looking for the information at another site. Also, sometimes there is so much on a page that it is difficult to find what you want, or it is poorly organized.

11. The Worst Thing

  • You can never tell what really is true if they don't cite the source and it can't always be used in a project.
  • It is by regular people, not necessarily a trustworthy source.
  • People will under value the information on wikipedia because they have heard their friend bad mouth the credibility. rarely I find a page that is fake or tampered with by trolls (the internet variety)

12. What do you think? 13. What are the pros and cons of a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, particularly in an educational setting? 14. Do teachers have a responsibility to discuss Internet resources, such as Wikipedia, with students? Do districts or schools have a responsibility to provide professional development on this, or is this up to the individual teacher? 15. Should Wikipedia be accepted as a valid source for school projects? 16. Should a policy be set on the use of Wikipedia in school?If so, who should set policy districts? schools? teachers?And what should that policy be? 17. Other questions from the audience 18. Thank you for coming!