• Wikipedia Policy
    Over the past few years, several students have expressed questions regarding the use of Wikipedia as a cited source when completing research papers. Based on these questions, I decided to research how learning institutions at various levels, including VMS, address this issue.
    VMS has no formal Board of Education approved policy regarding the use of Wikipedia but leaves it to the discretion of the individual teacher to decide his/her policy. This appears to be the policy of several other Middle Schools in the South Jersey area. It also appears to be consistent with a sampling of high schools in the area as well. A representative of Eastern High School advised me that "while Wikipedia is very useful and students may consult it for background information, it should not be used as a citation in their work." This representative went on to say that "One way to use Wikipedia more effectively is to consult the hyperlinked references/footnotes so that students can follow up on the sources wiki contributors have consulted for their entries."
    I should also note that over the years several colleges have decided that the use of Wikipedia is not permitted in any way for various reasons that include the fact that information can be edited by the user(s). It is also interesting to note that the co-founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, has stated that Wikipedia should not be used as a cited source.
    Based on the above information as well as other information I've obtained and discussions I have had with colleagues regarding this subject, the policy in my classes will be consistent with those of Eastern High School.