When I think about Wiki’s in education, I automatically go back to my high school classes when the teacher would go over acceptable references for paper or online sources. Every single one of my classroom teachers said not to trust Wikipedia as the ultimate resource about any content that the students were to research. All of my teachers did not take the time to explain why it was so wrong to list Wikipedia as a source. That was until I was introduced to Steven Colbert’s show The Colbert Report. A long time ago he did an episode about an African elephant, and asked his “nation” aka audience to go on Wikipedia and all state that the African elephant's population had been tripled. It was a prank about how flexible the truth could be for Wikipedia. Now the fact this actually did happen in reality with the animal is beside the point, in that moment I understood why my teachers wanted me to never list Wikipedia as a valid source. Now Wikipedia has cme a long ways from its early stages, but it still has the ability to be spread false information just because a big group of people thought it would be fun to deem it so. Not all of Wikipedia is false, but it does have the public become more aware about where the information is coming from. All wikis currently must list resources and references to prove what the poster is claiming are fact. There are wikis for almost every content, even wikis devoted exclusively to a TV show and the fictional world it resides in.
Wikis do have a valuable purpose in that it allows people to collaborate on ideas or content. It allows people from all over the world connect about a concept or specific event, and to accurately describe what has, is or will happen. Collaboration is now deemed as an effective and better way to teach, because through collaboration, ideas and information can be shared to help all adults improve in their own teaching style. Also, it allows various service providers a way to check in and understand what everyone is teaching, and through integration of services can help the student become engaged and progress. As with anything, any tool should be viewed as one point of view or perspective and not the ultimate fact. All tools have the ability to be helpful or destructive, but it is up to the user to distinguish which it is.