ever Wonder about Wikipedia?

Here is a very well done post about the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ regarding Wikipedia. It was originally posted at the Onate High School website (http://ohslibguides.lcps.k12.nm.us/wikipedia) and titled: What’s with Wikipedia?
This guide explains the strengths and weaknesses of Wikipedia as a research resource. It was originally created by Matt Osborn Teacher-Librarian Arabia Mountain High School:

Wikipedia (pronounced /ˌwɪkɨˈpiːdi.ə/ WIK-i-PEE-dee-ə) is a free, online encyclopedia that allows its users to navigate 3.2 million articles in English consisting of 19.5 million pages. Wikipedia operates on an “openly-editable” model, allowing anyone with an Internet connection to edit an article. On the last update of this article there were 11.8 million registered users including 1700 administrators.
The Good and Bad of Wikipedia

1 Wikipedia: The Good

1.1 Wikipedia is the world’s largest encyclopedia
1.2 Wikipedia is a great place to start when you know little or nothing about a topic
1.3 Wikipedia articles will help you locate keywords about a topic
1.4 While encyclopedias are usually updated annually, Wikipedia articles are updated thousands of times per hour
1.5 Wikipedia cites the sources for the articles, allowing users to investigate the topic further:

2 Wikipedia: The Bad
2.1 Anyone can add, edit, or delete Wikipedia entries
2.2 Wikipedia articles are not scholarly because we know nothing about the authors
2.3 Editors often change articles based on beliefs and opinions, leading to bias
2.4 Some articles get vandalized for ideological reasons or just for fun
2.5 Wikipedia articles cannot be cited in a research paper or project due to the reasons listed above

and, here is a video that warns students about the inaccuracies of Wikipedia from MSNBC Nightly News:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Quick Top Ten Web 2.0 Tools



Here is a very simple list and brief overview of MUST SEE tools available for advancing student achievement thru the use of 21st Century learning.

1. Mixbook – a wonderful tool for digital storytelling. Add text and photos to tell your story. 3rd gr and up. You can even order a hard cover bound version of your creation.

2. Voicethread – A gift to education. Online Web 2.0 tool that allows students or teachers to upload images and tell their story. So much more. Voice recording ability to go with your project – even a ‘doodling’ tool to draw on the image. And, visitors – if permitted – my comment on your work.

3. Glogster – think ‘online poster’ – really, with all the markers and stickers and pictures and cut-outs for text – Glogster is amazing for providing a unique presentation format. Instead of doing a research paper – think of using Glogster.

4. Voki – Create an Avatar (a caricature or icon to represent yourself or a virtual character) and type or record your voice to make the Avatar speak. Use it to give directions to your class…have students become a character in a book…take the opinion of a debatable topic…lots more. Embed the Voki in your wiki and lots more.

5. Authorstream – It may not seem, at first, that this is ‘all that,” however, with Authorstream – or Slideshare which is a similar tool – you can PUBLISH powerpoints online. Just upload the powerpoint to one of these sites and then it gives you the embed code to let you put your powerpoint in your wiki or blog. Now that really is amazing. This offers a way for 1st and 2nd graders creating powerpoints to publish their efforts.

6. Podcasts – specifically podcasts at the iTunes Education site. For example, check out ‘Math Dude’ who offers ‘quick and dirty tips for learning math’. Go to the website at: http://mathdude.quickanddirtytips.com/. But, subscribing to this podcast or others like it could be a great way to add content to your classroom. Other great educational podcasts at iTunes are ‘Grammar Girl,’ ’60 Second Civics,’ and, how-to’s to learn any language. Just go to iTunes > podcasts > education and search for a topic.

7. Animoto – a short and sweet way to tell a story. Allows for creativity – great for a simple digital story-telling project. They describe their product as ‘the end of slide shows.’

8. SlideRocket – create Powerpoint-like slideshows online.  Access them from any computer – very streamlined.

9. Be Funky and Picnik –  image editing tool. Just upload an image and you can change the effect or add text bubbles, text, color or graphics. Get the code to embed into a web page.

10. Sketchcast.com – record your voice and/or drawing. Online tool that provides lots of learning possibilities. Students can create sketchcasts to teach other students about math, science, art…



A fabulously simple yet impwordleexampleressive site for all content areas! Create an elegant ‘word cloud’ using any text. Provide visual representation of vocabulary words or text from a famous document. Use Wordle for describing a character from a book, story summary, or copy and paste text from a document (US Constitution). To make a Wordle go to http://www.wordle.net/ and follow the instructions. Of course printing Wordles is an option, however, to keep the format digital take a screen shot of your finished product.