Andy Carvin on his blog presents a case for Turning Wikipedia into an
Asset for Schools. Instead of blindly following what’s in Wikipedia,
use it to present “teachers with an excellent authentic learning
activity in which students can demonstrate their skills as scholars”:
[…]Take a group of fifth grade students and break them into groups,
with each group picking a topic that interests them. Any topic.
Dolphins, horses, hockey, you name it.
Next, send the groups of kids to Wikipedia to look up the topic they
selected. […] The horse, for example, has an extensive entry on the
website. It certainly looks accurate and informative, but is it?
Unfortunately, there are no citations for any of the facts claimed
about horses on the page.
[…]The group of students breaks down the content on the page into
manageable chunks, each with a certain amount of facts that need to be
verified. The students then spend the necessary time to fact-check the
Once the Wikipedia entry has been fact-checked, the teacher creates a
Wikipedia login for the class. They go to the entry’s talk page and
present their findings, laying out every idea that needs to be
corrected. Then, they edit the actual entry to make the corrections,
with all sources cited. Similarly, for all the parts of the entry
they’ve verified as accurate, they list sources confirming it.