Homework and Project Hint – Using Wikipedia as a Source

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our full disclosure here.

wikipedia simple englishTeachers generally frown on using Wikipedia as a source. Back when I was in school they had the same attitude toward encyclopedias. Nonetheless, for a general overview of a subject, I find Wikipedia to be of great value. There is generally a good outline of any topic, an outline that you can use to formulate an outline for a report – or to identify areas that have sufficient information to expand. The links at the bottom of the page are usually very helpful, too.

But sometimes Wikipedia is a bit over my head. (Should I admit that?!)

Well, for kids (or adults) who need simplified English, here’s a hint from Joe.
Navigate to the article you want to explore. Look over in the left sidebar, and you’ll see “Languages”. Many of the topics have an option for “Simple English”! It’s very helpful.

Joe works on computer networks on a large Navy ship. He is often asked to explain things to individuals who don’t understand geek speak. He uses Wikipedia to help him formulate an explanation that is more easily understood.

He gave me a fast example and looked up “computer network”.

“A computer network, or simply a network, is a collection of computers and other hardware interconnected by communication channels that allow sharing of resources and information.[1] Where at least one process in one device is able to send/receive data to/from at least one process residing in a remote device, then the two devices are said to be in a network. A network is a group of devices connected to each other. Networks may be classified into a wide variety of characteristics: the medium used to transport the data, communications protocol used, scale, topology, benefit, and organizational scope….”

Click on the “Simple English” link, and you get this:

“A computer network is a group of computers connected to each other electronically. This means that the computers can “talk” to each other and that every computer in the network can send information to the others. Usually, this means that the speed of the connection is fast – faster than a normal connection to the Internet…”

LOTS easier to understand – don’t you agree?

Thanks, son. I learned a couple of things today.

As an aside, he told me he also draws diagrams. Sounds like a graphic organizer to me – yes?!

What hint have you learned from your ADHD child?

About Kayla

Kayla Fay is a freelance writer and the mother of four boys, three of whom have been formally diagnosed with the inattentive type of ADHD. When she started “Who Put the Ketchup in the Medicine Cabinet?” in 2002, her sons were ages 8 through 14, when her life was a “progression of dirty laundry, lost homework, misunderstood Algebra, and a whole lot of love and fun”.

Connect with Kayla online Google+