Submissions:2015/Why Wikipedia is the best resource for high schoolers - as told by a high schooler

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Dhruv Gupta
E-mail address
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
I'm sure you've heard that teachers hate Wikipedia. I'm sure you've heard it called unreliable and untrustworthy. I hear this everyday. But, I still believe that Wikipedia is the MOST reliable and MOST useful resource on the internet. Period. I say this for three reasons: 1. breadth of knowledge, 2. depth of knowledge, 3. recency of knowledge. In fact, these reasons compel me to contend that not only should Wikipedia be allowed as a source for my school papers, but also that it should be encouraged as a source.

I've seen the viewpoint of teachers evolve: from teachers forcing us to eschew Wikipedia to teachers allowing us to use it as a springboard to teachers using it for their own research. This pushes me to consider its efficaciousness and importance in education: its an instantaneous resource that provides me with information about anything and everything.

And because it allows me to learn about anything and everything, it also serves the purpose of high school directly: to help me learn the skills I need and to help me find my path in life. By being able to learn through Wikipedia, I can, obviously, learn important topics, but I can learn about topics that may have never been available to me. Isn't that exactly what we're supposed to do in High School? Learn about what we need to succeed in life and expand our breadths of knowledge?

Finally, I've noticed that, without exception, the first person us students look to get a crash course on information is Wikipedia. Not Khan Academy, not our textbooks, and definitely not Encyclopedia Britannica. This always baffled me because Wikipedia is very dense reading for a lot of what we need it for - it has a lot of extra information that I don't necessarily need. But, then I observed that we students never leave Wikipedia just learning what we intended to - we learn more. And, isn't that the goal of education?

These are not new arguments, but, as presented by a current high school student and casual article editor, I can provide a fresh and different perspective on the topic!

Length of presentation
15 minutes
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  1. NegMawon (talk) 18:24, 24 August 2015 (EDT)
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