Wikipedia and other online encyclopedia

Wikipedia is in the top 10 visited online sites by Australians but are you aware of some of the compendium’s cousins? A good critical literacy lesson or 3 could result by investigating the way each of the following Wikipedia clones presents information and positions the reader. I especially like the parody sites ‘Uncylopedia’ and ‘Wickerpedia’. Try typing some or all of the following – ‘evolution’; ‘hippie’; John Lennon’; ‘kangaroo’; and, ‘creationism’ – into the _____pedia below and comparing the way topics are framed and the reader positioned:

Wikipedia Conservapedia  Wikiality Uncyclopedia Vidipedia  Wickerpedia   

I particularly like how John Lennon is parodied in Uncylcopedia (or rather their apparent parody of conservative viewpoints) with the quip that he was the “…foremost advocate of British Communism called Bagism or Beatlemania”. Brilliant, but somehow not quite as funny as how he is framed in Conservapedia.*

Citizendium, a beta site established by one of the founders of Wikipedia, that has the goal of being a “trustworthy free encyclopedia… providing a responsibly governed global community where real-named contributors work under expert guidance and all are accountable”.

 And just for fun you may wish to explore: Wookieepedia and Monstropedia.

 

 *Having students decontruct your own (re)presentation and perspective on any topic can prove to be particularly fruitful (ie. see above commentary on John Lennon) and experience has taught me that students enthusiastically develop their critlit skills when given the opportunity to deconstruct the instructor.

Share

2 Comments

  1. Excellent classroom ideas. I often push students to analyse the discussion pages on Wikipedia to begin to deconstruct the validity of the entry (along with following the source links), but these “clones” do drive the point home.

  2. darcymoore:

    Thanks Ira…I checked upt your excellent blog and will look forward to being updated with RSS feeds. I particularly liked your posts on ‘Teachers and technology’. It is an amazing stat – the one about 25 000 wagon makers in 1890 and 1 50 years later – that should resound with all of us.

Post a Comment

*
* (will not be published)

Random Posts

LOAD MORE
UA-6171563-2