Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Wikipedia logo"Was introducing wikipedia to the classroom an act of madness leading only to mayhem if not murder?"

At present, wikipedia hovers at the fringes of academia, like an unwelcome ghost. Wikipedia's aims are eminently academic, concerned with collecting, storing, and transmitting knowledge. Judging by the number of the site's articles and readers, it has been remarkably successful at promoting a culture of intellectual inquiry. Yet it is fairly consistently derided by academics themselves.

Still, everybody uses it, in one way or another, even if they might want not to admit to the fact. Above all, our students use it, openly or otherwise (as they are often explicitly told not to cite wikipedia article in term papers), but without necessarily knowing how it works. They are told that wikipedia is bad, but they are not often told why; and of course, they find it an incredibly useful resource.


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