Can History be Open Source?
Wikepedia Can Teach History
Wikipedia is a reflection of our present society; providing access to the freedom of speech, the ability to voice one’s opinion and most of all awarding benefits to both its readers and its writers. With the invention of the open-source encyclopedia, the internet is finally reaching the dimensions of the present world. Currently, Wikipedia is utilized more for its historical components than all other topics. Based on Alexa's rankings, Wikipedia was number 18th, and became the largest online historical resource which is free and most widely read. Wikipedia can and should replace the historical textbooks, with the development of the open-source textbook; everyone can contribute in learning and teaching not only history but also the process of documenting (editing and writing Wikipedia pages) and debating (discussion pages) historical events. Wikipedia is a revolutionary online resource that provides its community with a variation to the standard educational media; its users benefit from self-education, sharing of knowledge with others and being involved in linking the world through information.
The impact of Wikipedia is immeasurable, unlike all other encyclopedias, Wikipedia is a spreading phenomenon, providing people that live in the poorest and censorship governed nations, easy access to free information. Unlike other encyclopedias, Wikipedia offers its users constant revision of history as new evidence and theories are uncovered about the past and defects that are detected are rapidly changed.
Work In Progress But with High Expectations
Some would argue that Wikipedia is not a reliable source because it does not cover all subjects to the same extent and contains a lot of misinformation. Consequently, Wikipedia designed new features to monitor vandalism, finding defects, and even provides its users with page information (when and how many times it was edited) in order that they feel safe using the information that is available to them. Unlike the traditional textbooks, Wikipedia urges and monitors to ensure that all articles are written with NPOV. Wikipedia is not a replacement for historical literature, but it is more of an aid than a perilous resource. Moreover, if all people, especially historians decide to contribute to the project, Wikipedia will become the best resource available to men; it will become a free information bank.