Thursday, June 12, 2008

This school is missing the point of education

In NJ, a middle school has blocked Wikipedia from all school computers because it can be edited by anybody and contains inaccuracies. I wonder if they burned all their copies of Encyclopedia Britannica when a 12 year boy found significant errors in it?

Shouldn’t the school be teaching the kids how to use online sources, instead of blocking them outright? Wikipedia probably shouldn’t be a primary source for a middle school student anyway. However, it is great for providing an overview on just about any topic imaginable, and most articles are annotated with links to the primary sources. Instead of blocking the site, the school should be requiring the kids to either create a new entry, or contribute to the usefulness of Wikipedia by improving an existing entry. That would be educating. Is that too much to ask?

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