Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wikipedia and Websites

About Wikipedia

Your reading this week was about Wikipedia. If you would like to see learn more about how Wikipedia works, you can watch this video of a speech given by the creator, Jimmy Wales.
Go to the English Wikipedia site to find answers to these questions:
1.How many English articles are in Wikipedia today?
2. How many languages have a version of Wikipedia today?
3. Look up a controversial topic (such as Abortion Debate) and see how Wikipedia deals with it. What happens if an article (such as this one) isn't cited clearly?
4. Look up a topic related to your program that is very current such as the Bombardier C-Series . How does Wikipedia treat it? Take a look at the Discussion to learn more about how the article is evolving. You will also see links for the Wiki Project Aviation.
5. Click on "History" for one of the articles. When was this article last updated?
6. Find out about Wikipedia's Five Pillars for articles and check out their Manual of Style. If you would like to write an article for Wikipedia, you should first follow their tutorial . Also, be sure to check out the Simple English Wikipedia which is an English wikipedia designed for non-native speakers. Here are instructions for writing Simple English articles.
7. Explore some of the other wiki projects related to your field of study and consider a topic for your research project that you could publish on Wikipedia. Here are links to some of the current projects: Anthropology, Archeology, Astronomy, Dentistry, Engineering, Fashion, Film, Graphic Design, Languages, Mathematics, Media, Medicine, Opthalmology, Nursing, Physics, Sociology, Technology, Visual Arts, and more here.

Analyzing Websites
Before using an internet site for research, you need to determine whether the site comes from a reliable source. It is important to investigate who posted the website, whether the author or sponsor has appropriate expertise, when the site was created, how recently it was last updated, whether there are obvious errors in content or format, and so on.

Below is a list of links to various websites that are hoax sites or sites set up as a front organization. Imagine that you did not know that these sites were unreliable. Working with one or two partners, choose one of the sites and then, using the questions on page 34 of Insight as a guide, analyze the site to detect the clues you find that indicate it is not reliable. Remember to ask yourself the same basic questions a journalist asks: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How:
  • Who posted the website?
  • What is the subject matter?
  • When was it created and last updated?
  • Where does the owner/creator come from?
  • Why was the website created?
  • How is the website supported and arranged?
Print your analysis and post it on the Collaborative Blog.
Public Water Supply
Clones R Us
Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division
Friends of Science (read this after looking at the site)


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