Role of Wikipedia in Modern Education
Wikipedia is one of the most popular online sites that is widely used for educational purposes. This is a free website that supports hyperlinks and contains encyclopedias on a huge number of largely diversified disciplines including history, literature, medical, technology, and politics. It is considered a credible website because of its policies that ensure reliable information. There are many other features that make Wikipedia a great help for students, researchers, and the general public who seek information. The purpose of this article is to throw a light on how Wikipedia is helping in the education sector. But first, let us discuss why a huge number of students choose to use Wikipedia.
Advantages & Disadvantages:
Students from all around the world excessively rely on Wikipedia for information. This is because it saves a lot of their time by letting them access the information through a keyword search tool. Also, they prefer it because it is accessible everywhere and does not require them to read through thick research papers and hard-to-read books. They can easily acquire all the information that they need to understand a concept or a subject from one place. Other than this, Wikipedia can substitute a lecture that they missed at the college and can be a great tutor before an exam.
In addition to that, there is a list of characteristic make Wikipedia an exclusively useful site for the users who want to use it for educational purposes. It is a huge information body that contains information on almost all subjects in a readable and comprehensible language. The informative yet simple tone of its articles makes it understandable for all. The site attaches hyperlinked references to any technical or difficult-to-understand words or phrases that instantly show a basic definition. This feature further enhances the readability of the content.
Let us move ahead with a discussion about how Wikipedia works to ensure the credibility of information available on it. Wikipedia has a rule that all the content available on its site can be challenged and edited by the users. This policy makes its content impartial. Moreover, Wikipedia does not allow any content that aims to promote any political idea. It emphasizes unbiased information that is accessible freely. Also, Wikipedia requires editors and page creators to provide verifiable references to support the information that they provide, which further improves the credibility of its content.
Since Wikipedia provides an open platform for all the users to challenge the available information and to contribute to it, the information can be easily updated by the most relevant user. Furthermore, the site provides an editor named Visual Editor for the contributors who do not understand the technicalities of editing a webpage. This is to encourage contributions from all kind of educational backgrounds. However, if a user does not want to contribute to a Wikipedia page by himself, he can take the of Wikipedia writing services that are provided by different writing agencies.
Moreover, Wikipedia is exceptionally useful for statistics, facts, and technical information. This is also a reason why students and researchers find the site beneficial. The articles can use textual, visual, and audio formats to present evidence and simply the information.
Though google too offers an extensive information on different topics, the information on Google usually does not contain verifiable references and are not to the point. The blogs and articles that Google provides usually cannot be used for research or educational purposes because most of them do not cover the topic in depth.
Incorporating Wikipedia in teaching methods makes it easier for the teachers to provide the student body with an educational source that is accessible for everyone. Students are encouraged to study by using Wikipedia because of its online availability. Also, the hyperlinks in between the articles stimulate curiosity and motivate students to explore a topic in detail. This may help students to develop a reading habit and improve their academic performance.
Another plus point of using Wikipedia for educational assistance is that Wikipedia is a multilingual website. Students can choose to have the required information in any language they want. This evens out the problem of the language barrier and provides free information to a diversified group of users. This multilingual feature of the website also allows contribution from speakers of different languages which again, improves the information accuracy.
Wikipedia, on a whole, is a good educational resource and it can contribute well in improving the education sector by providing assistance to both, teachers and students. The free encyclopedias can be a great way of educating students who cannot afford education and what makes it reliable is the fact that the information available is not from a subjective source but rather it is based on collaborative editing from various sources who are required to provide references.