In recent discussions of Wikipedia and the use of it, a controversial issue has been whether it is a credited site that should be allowed to be cited on academic papers. On the one hand, some argue that Wikipedia can provide false information and be unreliable source for students. From this perspective, many teacher have ban the use of Wikipedia on research papers. Marc Prensky explains that people are “motivated to read, contribute and change the entry, and often do so on a regular basis.” This concerns many educators. Because Wikipedia allow anyone to alter an article, it’s very easy for the article to provide false information to it’s readers. On the other hand, however, others argue that being able to alter the information is beneficial. According to this view, it makes it easier for an article to expand and provide more information. Prensky talks about the example of Hurricane Katrina “It is fascinating to see how quickly a Wikipedia article emerges on a contemporary topic, such as Hurricane Katrina, often while the event is still happening. Someone writes a few lines, others add, and suddenly there are pages, pictures, etc.” Wikipedia also allows their readers to view all the changes made to an article in the past, so they can determine for themselves what is true or false information. In sum then, the issues is whether Wikipedia is the most effective internet encyclopedia or if it’s just a bunch of people making up history how they see it.
My own view is that Wikipedia is beneficial to students in research and everyday facts they want to know. Though I concede that many people can alter articles to their own views and provide false information, I still maintain that the main articles and information on Wikipedia and a great resource for people. For example, students use there phone everyday to look up random facts that popped into their heads and Wikipedia is a quick and easy way to find the answer.. Although some might object that Wikipedia shouldn’t be used in the classroom for academic papers, I would reply that it is a great website that students and teachers both understand and know how to navigate it. The issue is important because Wikipedia is a great website every students should have access to.