Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Flickr & Wikipedia, Friend or Foe????

Originally uploaded by Sarah M Stewart
When asked to use an image from Flickr and upload it to our blog, of course the first thing I searched for was E-Learning. Although it was simple enough to scroll through until I found what I was particularly looking for, I found that with this website, as with other sites that are open to the public, there is a lot of information that I felt really did not belong in my search results. This is one of the only negatives about using these sites. If someone wants to be a menace they can tag their photo to come up in irrelevant searches. Its almost got a bit of an 'honesty box' feel to it, where the organisers of this website are trusting that people will 'do the right thing' and only place their photo's into categories that are relevant. Perhaps there could be more responsibility on the websites creators to monitor this, particularly if we are going to recommend Boldthese websites to our students to use. I have the same feelings regarding Wikipedia. This site actually cautions people about citing it, with particular reference to academic work. It even suggest that some educators will not allow references or citations from Wikipedia. In saying this, I still believe it has it's place in our classrooms. There are many great tools within this site. What I absolutely love about Wikipedia is the links within the text provided. This makes it easy for students to look further into an explanation provided without having to conduct a new search. I find that researching an assessment is quite time consuming, so to be able to have a quick and easy link provided to gain further knowledge is fantastic. Not only does Wikipedia provide these fantastic tools, but it also provides a section called the Village Pump which "is used to discuss the technical issues, policies, and operations of Wikipedia"(Wikipedia, 2009) Within this section, there is a link to provide information on how to properly reference Wikipedia. Proper referencing is a very important part of any assessment, so for students to receive this help is a great plus. All in all, I believe that Wikipedia could certainly be used to help gather information and provides a good start to researching. I would simply inform my students of the cautions that Wikipedia itself provides, and let them decide how they intend to use it. After all, these are all lessons they are meant to learn as part of their academic journey.


A caution before citing Wikipedia, (2009, April 16) In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citing_Wikipedia#A_caution_before_citing_Wikipedia

Flickr, Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://www.flickr.com

Village Pump, (2009, April 14) In
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump

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