banning wikipedia: irresponsible

David Perry has an editorial up on Science Progress in which he argues that it’s irresponsible to ban Wikipedia at a school:

And this is why digital literacy is so crucial for educational institutions: we do a fundamental disservice to our students if we continue to propagate old methods of knowledge creation and archivization without also teaching them how these structures are changing, and, more importantly, how they will relate to knowledge creation and dissemination in a fundamentally different way.


Literacy in modern society means not only being able to read a variety of informational formats; it means being able to participate in their creation, with Wikipedia serving as the marquee example.

Not much new in this editorial, but it’s a good read. Sorry I don’t have much to add; I have to go to bed.

This entry was posted in Information Literacy, Internet culture, Literacy, New Media, Wikipedia. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to banning wikipedia: irresponsible

  1. Anne-Marie says:

    I loved this essay. I agree that there wasn’t a lot here that I didn’t already agree with, but I loved it being expressed so explicitly — not just that Wikipedia does not equal evil – but that teaching this information landscape is not only good but necessary. I loved it.

  2. Alan says:

    the key, it seems to me, is that – like reading any landscape – reading the new infoscape cannot be an uncritical practice (particularly with something as democratically and contingently produced as wikipedia… there’s no reason to ban wikipedia from schools but, equally, there’s no reason, in this landscape, to accept any single source as straightforwardly authoritative – as my classmates and I were taught to approach the Encyclopedia Brittanica… even if we were taught to be less sure of the World Books.

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