I wrote this piece to advocate for why we should encourage students to use and improve Wikipedia–an unmatched, free resource for growing curiosity, media literacy, and offering opportunities for student agency. Wikipedia is an amazing public resource (like water) that we take for granted until we can’t get it for free. We should be using it more, not less, in the classroom (read the article before you come at me 😁)
Currently, the English version of Wikipedia includes about 6.4 million articles, providing instant access to knowledge on nearly every topic imaginable. The fact that it’s made available for free, without advertisements—in 323 languages—is absolutely mind-boggling. Yet students are often actively discouraged from using this unique, unprecedented resource.
Here are five reasons I believe we should be doing the opposite—encouraging students to use and contribute to this vast repository of knowledge—from my perspective as both a middle school teacher and a scientist….