Saturday, August 8, 2009


I love Wikipedia! Now this is a site that I refer to very frequently, probably even once or more a day. If I am unsure of what something is, or just want to find more information about things I am interested in (particularly TV shows for me), I tend to go straight to Wikipedia to find out as much information as I can (even find out what happens in a movie or who wins a series because I just cant wait). It always has the information that I need and even provides me with information I had never considered! Before learning about Wikis and their capabilities I did not know that Wikipedia actually was a wiki. (Oh the shame). Let me explain my apparent dumbness to you all… I knew that people could go and add/swap/change elements and information on the Wikipedia pages, however I never knew the term for this type of a site was a wiki. Now that I fully understand what a wiki is, I can now see why this particular information site is called Wikipedia! Because Wikipedia can be changed by practically anyone accessing the site, it is very understandable that we cannot use it as a reference in academic pieces, and we should therefore stress this to our students as well. Even though, this information may be slightly incorrect or misinformed, Wikipedia, I believe is still a great resource to use to find out information quickly and allows us to make understandings about different topics that can then be researched further to check its reliability.

After Googling, ‘education benefits of Wikipedia’ to find out if there were others that could tell me about the benefits that I may have overlooked or not considered, I funnily enough, found a Wikipedia site that described and gave a definition for educational technology. And forgive me for doing what we have been told not to do, but I am going to refer to a quote from Wikipedia, however in this instance I think it is ok…. I hope. “Educational technology (also called learning technology) is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. The term educational technology is often associated with, and encompasses, instructional theory and learning theory. While instructional technology covers the processes and systems of learning and instruction, educational technology includes other systems used in the process of developing human capability. Educational Technology includes, but is not limited to, software, hardware, as well as Internet applications and activities.” (Wikipedia, 2009a). What I got from this statement is that Wikipedia itself is a form of education technology.

Because I am studying Early Childhood, I thought it would be appropriate to see if I could find out some information that is relevant to me to share on this blog. In studying the set Early Childhood courses, I have discovered what the Reggio Emilia Approach is. I remember when I first started making my understandings about this new concept I had never heard of and I referred to Wikipedia for some clarification. For those of you who have no idea what it is about, this is the definition that is given by Wikipedia. “The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was started by the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. The destruction from the war, parents believed, necessitated a new, quick approach to teaching their children. They felt that it is in the early years of development that children are forming who they are as an individual. This led to creation of a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.” (Wikipedia, 2009b). I know that after just reading this first few sentences about the Reggio Emilia approach, I had formed some understanding of what it was, and therefore could go on and research it further to find out a lot more information that is available on the internet. To me, Wikipedia is a great way to provide students with a starting point when learning something new, and as teachers we need to be able to guide our students to use other educational technologies to find out more information. We also need to be able to show and teach our students about how to determine if sites are reliable (or not) and stress the importance to our students to research topics thoroughly and use a wide variety of sources.


Wikipedia. (2009a). Educational Technology. Retrieved on August 9, 2009, from

Wikipedia. (2009b). Reggio Emilia Approach. Retrieved on August 9, 2009, from

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