Attitudes towards wikipedia have changed significantly over the past 6 years. Yet over on Clr. Buck’s blog one curmudgeonly anonymous poster continues to dismiss the 5th most popular site in the world by suggesting that "sending a wikipedia link is laughable": http://evelynmbuck.blogspot.ca/2014/08/pedanticmaybe-precisehardly.html
That was rebuffed by another poster citing a BBC News piece but seeing as that article is almost 10 years old it may be worthwhile to explore what advances wikipedia has made and how it is viewed in the real world.
Back in 2010 Alison Head and Michael Eisenberg conducted research about Wikipedia usage in two phases during 2008 and 2009. They concluded that "Wikipedia meets the needs of college students because it offers a mixture of coverage, currency, convenience, and comprehensibility in a world where credibility is less of a given or an expectation from today’s students."
Their complete findings are part of Project Information Literacy (PIL), an ongoing national research study and can be found here: http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2830/2476
Additional case studies of how Wikipedia has been used in university classes is provided by Wikimedia Foundation’s Education program here: http://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Education/Case_Studies
In June of this year the LA times ran this piece highlighting wikipedia’s use in the American school system: http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-wikipedia-20140615-story.html#page=1
Now let’s return to Clr. Buck’s blog where this all started due to a perceived lack of credibility with the following wikipedia link provided by Clr. Pirri: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freezing-point_depression
If one bothered to visit the link one would find that the content is current, last modified on 12 July 2014 at 07:35.
As for the whole "we know they do not have dependable sources." mindset, this entry contains 11 references.
Not one point was singled out as incorrect.
Yet Clr. Pirri is singled out for providing a link to this wikipedia entry instead of say Encyclopedia Britannica?
Now that’s laughable.
About as laughable as comparing council debate to a classroom setting.
In 2012 Pete Forsyth of Wiki Strategies explored the roles for Wikipedia in higher education in his slideshare presentation here:
On one slide Forsyth explores a dilemma laid out by Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics:
Should the virtuous citizen lead: A life of quiet contemplation or A life of political activism?
Here’s the wikipedia link for that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicomachean_Ethics
Forsyth concludes that many people do not have the luxury to choose. They want to engage; and with barriers to engagement failing they are not waiting for an invitation.
I applaud all members of council and public that engage in debate of town issues.
If Aurora is going to move forward it isn’t going to happen waiting for invitations from a select few that have their panties all tied up in knots over something like wikipedia.