One in six schools block Wikipedia – the real reason

Two weeks ago, when I wrote the "One in six schools block Wikipedia" blog post, I was obviously not thinking outside the box. I was thinking that it was a bad thing, and that it denied students access to valid and valuable information. But then somebody added a comment on the post that turned my thoughts upside down:

  On the flip side you could say that banning Wikipedia in schools is the best publicity that it could get… What better way to get kids to want to go home and illicitly read an encyclopedia, learning secretly hoping they don’t get caught! I think you can put blocking Wikipedia up there with banning rock & roll and abstinence-only sex education as effective strategies, they only cause the opposite to occur.  

So perhaps that’s what’s really going on – that by making learning seem somehow illicit, it makes it more attractive?

Comments (1)

  1. Adrian says:

    During the Masters study it was recommended to us not to quote from Wikipedia because "the content isn't reliable". Another reason was that it's expected from students to do some research by themselves, compare various sources rather than copying or using the references from Wikipedia, having thus more variability. It could weight also the fact that the content is continuously changing, therefore the references could become easier outdated.

    It would be interesting to know how many students go and check Wikipedia and other similar resources.