The Case for Wikipedia in the Classroom

I’ve heard this comment time and time again from professors and teachers alike: “Do NOT use Wikipedia to write *insert name of boring assignment here*” But is this really the best approach? I have many memories of pulling yellowing and slightly funky smelling World Book encyclopedias off the shelf of the school library, opening my college ruled notebook, and scratching away at a report. Certainly, many of us have those same memories. The location of the encyclopedias and other tomes on the shelves of the library lent them a kind of gravitas that appears to be lacking with modern repositories of information. Today’s educators bemoan the inaccuracies of Wikipedia, and students’ reliance on the copy/paste function of their word processing software. {…}
I put forth, though, that the problem isn’t Wikipedia.