(it could be any wiki, really) … Read a short essay of how a teacher announced to his class that if he learns that a student has used Wikipedia to do research, the student automatically gets an F. The essay didn’t really go into detail about why the student would fail the paper or project … so I’m not sure of the teacher’s reasons behind such a draconian decision.
Then I watched my son a little bit as he was preparing a paper on the structure of plant cells. And what might you think he used as part of the research? Yep – wikipedia! … But he didn’t stop there. He clicked on a couple of the referring links, made a couple of notes, and called it a night.
The key for him was not using Wikipedia as a primary source, but as a springboard.
Back to the teacher … I will give him the benefit of the doubt by imagining that he’s addressing the differences between primary and secondary sources and coaching the students on how to do research well. Perhaps the teacher thinks that Wikipedia makes the students lazy (which might be a reasonable argument to make, frankly).
Should students be able to use Wikipedia? Or should its use be banned? Why?