Encyclopaedia

PSLE marks the graduation of Primary school students and their entry into Secondary schools as teenagers. Discuss all issues about Secondary schooling here.

Encyclopaedia

Postby mathsparks » Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:42 pm

My son likes to roam wikipedia in his free time browsing articles from one topic to the next.

However, I'm concerned that as wiki is maintained by volunteers and anyone can edit the data, the info provided may not be accurate.

I'm thinking of subscribing to some online ency like britannica, encarta.

Anyone have suggestions on which is a better ency in terms of content, search functions, presentations & layouts, videos etc?

mathsparks
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Re: Encyclopaedia

Postby ChiefKiasu » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:13 pm

mathsparks wrote:My son likes to roam wikipedia in his free time browsing articles from one topic to the next.

However, I'm concerned that as wiki is maintained by volunteers and anyone can edit the data, the info provided may not be accurate.

I'm thinking of subscribing to some online ency like britannica, encarta.

Anyone have suggestions on which is a better ency in terms of content, search functions, presentations & layouts, videos etc?


I guess there are 2 schools of thought here. In the case of wikipedia, while it is true that content is contributed by the masses, there is actually a professional team behind the "chaos" which is hard at work cleaning up and verifying the facts behind the scene. And because it is open and subject to external scrunity, I actually trust its contents more than I would with a proprietary encyclopedia, since it is very updated and errors are likely to have been flagged out by users more often than not.

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Postby mathsparks » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:29 pm

Hey chief,
With so many pages updated a day, I doubt the team of professionals would be able to spot mistakes deliberately introduced. Say for eg, the distance from the Sun to the earth could easily be changed from km to miles and no one will be any wiser. What about something more complex like...

The bending of light by gravity can lead to the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, where multiple images of the same distant astronomical object are visible in the sky. General relativity also predicts the existence of gravitational waves, which have since been measured indirectly; a direct measurement is the aim of projects such as LIGO.

Would the prof team and robots be vigilant enough or is the team big enough to spot it if I'd changed the words visible to invisible and predicts to confirms? Perhaps it's automated like the way you clean up the troll? :?

Maybe I should change it and see if they can spot the mistakes. :lol:

mathsparks
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Postby James Ang » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:19 pm

Wikipedia is probably one of the most convenient and free encyclopedia due to its online ease of access.

I noticed that some people like to keep a set of hardcopy encyclopedia at home for display and also quickpick leisure read by visitors and themselves. :D A digital CD-rom encyclopedia though does not provide that display functionality.

James Ang
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Postby csc » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:16 am

just for info. My son was told by his teachers that wikipedia is an unreliable source of information. They are advised not to use this source for their research projects. :D

csc
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Postby sunset_dae » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:55 am

i bought a second hand set of TIMELIFE encyclopedia, it cost me only $500, also comes with a set of books that teaches moral and values which my son enjoyed reading. however, sometime i feel that buying an encyclopedia is "outdated" since most of the reader would rather surf net to source for information..

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Postby mathsparks » Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:00 pm

Exactly, if we buy copies it tend to get outdated very quickly. My son's teacher also advised against using wiki.

So, which online ency should I subscribe. :?
Last edited by mathsparks on Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby kaydenbrown » Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:34 pm

I would suggest that sites such as http://www.about.com/ provide information on most topics available.
Also, since search engines became popular, encyclopedias have been pretty much in decline....now google scholar is getting popular and rumour has it that some of these technological giants are planning to do something like wikipedia....

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Postby pea » Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:13 pm

Hi all. I am thinking of buying a good set of encyclopaedia for pre-schoolers till lower primary level. My child just turned 3.

Does anyone have any recommendations? :D

pea
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Postby sashimi » Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:05 pm

In today's information environment, there is no longer such a thing as a certified 100% authentic/correct source of information.

The most important skill that anyone should have is the ability to search, verify and synthesize from a variety of sources.

Information is almost always outdated the moment it is codified, documented and archived, whether offline or online. This is a common, modern knowledge management problem that "knowledge managers" are still scratching their heads about (even though many won't admit it).

The ability, in a person, to locate relevant information, to examine secondary sources and surrounding sources, is a very precious ability. Many people today still do not know how to "search the net", despite the plethora of resources available. Many people dont' even know how to leverage keyword combinations, or understand social tags. These are all useful information skills that the young ought to pick up. It is the kind of information world they are growing up and inheriting.

I think all of you will appreciate it if I say that you cannot ignore wikipedia, nor can you rely solely on "official" encyclopedias.

It is very unconstructive and backward to say or think that wikipedia is "unreliable" or that only encyclopedias/libraries/"official sources" constitute "truth".

The important thing to realize is that truth and information do not come in neat packages any more. They come from a synthesis of different sources of information, a synthesis that every individual must make for himself in his field. This skill is the key to learning today, in our world of information overload.

EDIT: I refer, in particular, to older kids, of course, esp. those in tertiary level. :)

sashimi
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