Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Encyclopedia's to use online?

With the use of search engines, what is the point of an Encyclopedia? We can just Google what I want to know, right?

Well something that must be remembered about the web is that it is not always 100% accurate. Its validity must be checked. I spoke about this before in reference to Alan November and web literacy.

An online encyclopedia is owned by someone, such as Britannica, or Encarta, so is much more like a traditional book, where we trust the content to be correct and checked. A lot of these online encyclopedia's unfortunately need to be paid for to get full access.

That's where Wikipedia initially seemed great, (full access and pictures) but of course as we all know Wikipedia is a great resource, but its is not always 100% correct, its validity needs to be questioned at times, because it is able to be edited by anyone. The website dos its own checks, but is not always on top of this, you can come across articles that state that it hasn't been checked. The site is clear about what has and hasn't been checked.

But I would be uncomfortable letting children loose on Wikipedia, it is not a child safe environment. That where this new Wikipedia Selection for schools comes in.
Visit the link below and check it out, and read more information about how it works.

Basically it is a chuck of the Wikipedia site that has been checked and edited by Wikipedia themselves and an outside organization. So we get the advatanges of full infomration with images. (lacking in the free encyclopedia)

It is free to download and thus host on your local server or just use the online site.

Its worth checking out.


Two Whizzy said...

Hi Nic thanks for the visit, I hope the blog hasn't been too tedious a read. Would like to know more about what you have been doing with 2 type and the outcome of your evaluations. Anthony has a contact for me. Look forward to hearing from you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nic, didn't realise there was an edited wikipedia for schools to use: great spot. I agree, I'd be happy to use it in a secondary environment, but not a primary - although I have pointed kids to specific pages without problems. The stuff about Wikipedia and accuracy is largely a myth as Will Richardson demonstrates in his book "Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts"

John Sutton