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Selected social media for classroom use: Wikipedia

An exploration of Wikipedia and what it has to say about Nazareth, PA

  • Top-level entry
  • Focusing on the top-level entry in English, note the
    • Length
    • History: How long has it been around? Who created it? How many edits since then?
    • Cross-referencing. For example, the current article mentions George Whitefield and links to a separate entry on Whitefield.
  • Taking a close look at entries
    • Look at the entry on George Whitefield
    • Why doesn't it (as of this writing) mention Nazareth? The Whitefield House?
    • Examine the Talk page for this entry – has it at least been discussed?
    • Can we edit the article to improve it? Can we at least put a note on the Talk page?


Why bother with Wikipedia?

  • Content = patchy, sometimes incorrect, vandalized, etc. (On the other hand, often far, far more thorough / current than textbook....)
  • Vehicle for developing students' historical thinking skills (diagram of WP structure and HT-as-applied-epistemology)
  • Opportunity for 'doing' history? For example, I wrote the first version of an entry on a Bethlehem history topic, steelworker Henry Noll.
  • And a short digression into cultural geography


Re-capturing the point of this: Can you envision some possible use of Wikipedia for teaching a concept or skill in the coming school year? 


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