We've seen this before, of course. There are teachers and professors out there who blame
Wikipedia for mistakes students make, and even those who demand that the entire Wikipedia be blocked
in schools. However, there are those who are a lot more reasonable about it, recognizing that Wikipedia is just one source among many, and there's value in embracing
Wikipedia: teaching kids what it is and how to use it reliably. That seems likely to be a lot more effective and useful for training kids how to critically judge the reliability of information out in the real world. Blocking, banning or blaming Wikipedia seems only designed to put one's head in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist. That's not preparing anyone for the real world.
Techdirt reader cram writes in to point out two contrasting articles that show this dichotomy of thought in action. First is a report out of Scotland last week blaming Wikipedia for kids getting failing grades
. This, of course, seems ridiculous. What it really means is that teachers have failed to actually teach kids how to use Wikipedia properly. It's not the fault of Wikipedia -- which is merely an information source. It's a failure of teachers to teach kids how to properly use it. That's why it's nice to see the corresponding article, where students in Australia are now going to have a course available on how to use Wikipedia
. That seems a lot smarter than just blaming Wikipedia.