Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Evaluating Wikipedia by Noodletools

I've spoken about Noodletools before--the site is great for teaching kids citation formatting and keeping notes for research.  The site also from time to time puts out some support articles--good bits and pieces of information to help with the research process.  This article I found especially interesting-- How do I evaluate Wikipedia?

I've said before as a librarian, sometimes I'm too quick to dismiss Wikipedia and to my students, that makes me look like an old fuddy duddy.  This article helps me explain to them how Wikipedia can be a useful tool but not be the "end all, be all" for their research. 

For example, did you know this?
                         A bronze star (to the right of the article’s title) signals a polished article of higher quality.

I sure didn't know about this.  The article has several other tips and ideas to consider when using Wikipedia.  And of course, there's information on how to correctly cite any articles used for research.

As librarians and teachers, we need to teach our students to think critically about sources--Wikipedia is only one of many that kids encounter.  As adults, we need to stop being so quick to dismiss it since the kids rely so heavily on it.  But we do need to train them to evaluate--to think critically-- about any source, whether it's a wiki or published research.

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