In the world of education, the emergence of Wikipedia – an online, user generated, knowledge production referencing system – has drawn strong battle lines. The divide is fairly well drawn between those who swear by Wikipedia and those who swear at it. On the one hand are the students and teachers (more students than teachers) who look upon the democratic modes of knowledge production, the easy access to information, and the multiple perspectives that get embedded in the global system of producing knowledge, as one of the most revolutionary moments in the history of teaching and research in the world. On the other hand are the teachers and students (more teachers than students) who grow green in the face, pointing out the errors and problems within Wikipedia, often layering their objections with much more complex problems of plagiarism, lack of research ethics and absence of rigour.
The author is the Director – Research at The Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore. He is currently working with the Networked Higher Education Initiative on a project on technology and education on networked campuses in India. He can be reached at [email protected].