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:
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”.
*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.