Wikipedia is a free web-based encyclopedia, which "is written collaboratively by volunteers from all around the world. Anyone with internet access can make changes to Wikipedia articles." (Wikipedia: About, 2009).
Since the beginning of my University journey, I was (as was everyone else) explicitly told NEVER to use Wikipedia as a reference source, as the content can be altered by anyone who felt like it. I haven't even entered this site again, until now.
Wikipedia may be a basic source of information for students to initially gain an understanding of a particular topic, however they must be informed that not all the information they find will be correct. Therefore critical literacy is a major factor when obtaining information from Wikipedia. "We are swamped by masses of information from sources across the globe. We need to be able to make meaning from the array of multimedia...that confront us each day." (Department of Education, Tasmania, School Education Division, 2007).
Department of Education, Tasmania, School Education Division. (2007). English Learning Area: Critical Literacy. [Electronic resource]. (http://wwwfp.education.tas.gov.au/english/critlit.htm#whyis). Retrieved 19 August 2009.
Wikipedia. (2009). Wikipedia: About. [Electronic resource] (http://en.wikipenia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About). Retrieved 19 August 2009.