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Wikipedia on WSTA


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Wikipedia is fast becoming the standard online repository of all knowledge and wisdom. Although it contains much that is inaccurate, the rigorous scrutiny each new entry receives from around the world means that inaccuracies do not remain on the books for long.

The pages about the ongoing war in Lebanon see Wikipedia struggling to obtain its objectivity as edits and re-edits sway the story back and forth. At least this is being done "out in the open" and you can view the history of each article.

There is even a page about the West Sussex Teachers Association

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WSTA

And like everyone else on the internet, you can edit it.

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But you must treat Wikipedia with caution - as you should treat any source of information. There was an article in The Daily Telegraph of 19 June 2006, in which the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, was reported as warning students not to rely on it as a reference source. Apparently, he receives around 10 emails per week from students complaining that they got low grades for citing inaccurate information that they found in Wikipedia. As he put it succinctly: "For God's sake you're in college - don't cite the encyclopedia."

I edited the Wikipedia entry on Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) some months ago as it was hopelessly inaccurate and incomplete. A few weeks later, part of my edited text was removed, so I edited it back again. Since then, my text has been left more or less untouched, the article has been added to by other people (unknown) and it's in reasonable shape now. I include links to other sources of information on CALL, so at least people can make comparisons.

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