Wes Fryer sent out a link to his blog over the weekend highlighting ‘cite this page’ in the left sidebar of Wikipedia titled toolbox. He’s never seen it and I have to admit that I’d never taken note of it either. Maybe it’s been there for awhile or maybe it’s new. Regardless, it’s useful for the students you teach.
Whether you like Wikipedia or not, you’d be foolish to not have recognised that your students are using it as a source of information. My 12 yr old daughter completed an assignment over the weekend and three of her reference sources were from Wikipedia. I see it in the bibliographies of many of my students. Wes’ post led me to the cite this article link to check it out and see if it could help my daughter with her bibliography. It could.
When you click on the link you are taken to a page with some useful advice that you can use when you teach students about Wikipedia as a reference source. Very responsible information from the Wikipedia team;
Couldn’t have said it better myself, and I won’t from now on because I’ll be pointing students to this information. Below this information comes this;
How cool is that! My students are going to love this. Some might say that it reinforces the cut and paste attitude of some students, but I see nothing wrong with it. It is a laborious process putting together a bibliographic record, especially for a website. What’s important is that our students know that a bibliography is essential and that it should follow a required format – if they are able to cut and paste it in more power to them I say.
Wish this was around when I was studying. Honestly, it must be so different being a student today. I can remember having to hole myself up in the State Library of Victoria’s Reading Room for over a week because it was the only place where I could access a resource I needed. Somehow, I don’t think that would be necessary today with the wealth of resources available via the Web. Today’s challenge for students is sifting through the vast array of resources to find quality information. Maybe Wikipedia is a quality resource, maybe it’s not. At least they are providing apt advice and assisting the students of today.