Friday, February 3, 2012

Try the New Wiki Summarizer Features

Last year I discovered Wiki Summarizer and almost immediately started sharing it in many of my presentations. Wiki Summarizer is a site that allows you to search Wikipedia, have articles summarized by key points, and provides lists of articles that are related to your original search. Recently, Wiki Summarizer got a few nice upgrades that should prove to be useful.

In an effort to make Wiki Summarizer more visually appealing and easier to navigate, Wiki Summarizer offers expandable webs of related articles. For example, I searched for "German Shepherd" and a web of related terms was created. Clicking on the "+" symbol next to each term opens a new element of the web. All parts of the web link to Wikipedia articles.

If your students are in the habit of printing articles that they find online, an upgrade to Wiki Summarizer that you should note is the option to export articles to a text document. The articles are exported in a clean, linear outline that is very easy to read.

Wiki Summarizer now offers hyperlinked word clouds for every Wikipedia article. You can click on any word in the word clouds to jump to the corresponding Wikipedia article.
Click to view full size image.

Applications for Education
Wiki Summarizer could be a good tool to for students who are just starting a research assignment and are not quite sure what terms to use or what topics to explore. By using the Wiki Summarizer web view or word cloud view students will be able to find some terms and topics that could help them alter and or direct their searches. In other words, Wiki Summarizer could help students who have a very broad research topic narrow down their searches.

To learn more about how Wikipedia functions and strives to maintain reliability watch Common Craft's explanation of Wikipedia in the video below.

(If you're reading this in RSS you will have to click through to watch the video).