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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wikipedia for Schools

To say I have been a bit delinquent in my posting to this blog would be an understatement but rather than making excuses for my absence, I'll just get to the posting. I recently read about the Wikipedia Selection for Schools on Kelly Tenkely's exceptional blog, iLearn Technology. This selection of resources from Wikipedia has been pre-screened for accuracy and appropriateness with k-12 students in mind. They boast on the site that the amount of information is equivalent to "a 20 volume encyclopedia". When I first read that I was a little confused and I had to look up the word encyclopedia. Turns out, an encyclopedia is a book and people used to use them to look up information and learn things. Can you imagine that! Alright, enough of my weak attempt at humor.

Along with over 5500 articles the collection of resources has some 34,000 images for students to view. You can browse the content either by a picture-based index (handy for younger students) or a word index. But I haven't even gotten to the best part yet. You can download the entire collection and put it on a DVD so that students can use the site offline if needed. How cool is that? What I really love about this is that students can still get the practice of parsing information from a larger collection of resources, analyzing the various articles and drawing conclusions based on the information they collect but do so in a safe environment tailor made for them. This seems like a great option for those research projects you have planned for your students.

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