What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this wiki is easier for kids to contribute to than Wikipedia or eHow, but can be just as error-prone. It also contains some mildly objectionable material and sexually explicit Google ads. However, the ads can be turned off and kids can find lots of fun projects to undertake, even writing their own how-tos. Parents might want to supervise, though.
Is it any good?
Despite iffy content here and there, Wikihow is actually a pretty good choice for kids interested in collaborative writing because it's so accessible and relatively safe. Kids can post articles anonymously and do not even have to submit an email address to participate. There's valuable experience to be gained here in learning how to research, write and edit coherently. There are also lots of great how-tos here for kids, too, like making a yo-yo. The most objectionable aspect of the site are the adult-oriented Google ads that can pop up from time to time.These are easy to turn off, though.
Online interaction: The site’s goal of producing high-quality how-to articles encourages contributors to support and treat one another respectfully as they trade edits. Peaceful collaboration seems to be the case for the most part, but kid contributors might have to deal with the occasional dustup including rough or angry language.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how wikis are by their nature not completely reliable sources of information. How can kids know when information is trustworthy and when it is wrong? Where can they doublecheck their research? (See our tips for using Wikipedia.)
Families can also talk about respecting others' opinions even if we do not always agree.
Discuss why some entries that do not promote a healthy lifestyle or attitude are allowed to stay on Wikihow. How can kids respect free speech while using their own common sense?