I’ve had my students use Wikipedia, as have many classroom teachers. My 7th graders are just learning to research and use the Internet for research, and they are certainly not masters of citing sources. The biggest thing I try to accomplish with my students and research is the process, not necessarily the final “perfect” result.
One thing we work on is citing sources. Web page citations can be difficult sometimes, with huge web addresses or not noticable authors. Wikipedia has added a handy new feature – Cite This Article. From anywhere inside wikipedia (the linked example is to the article on webmastering), click on ‘Cite This Article’ to get the full citation in 9 different formats, including MLA and APA.
I’ll probably use this in the classroom this year, along with teaching my students how to analyze facts found online. I’ll have them create their own citation, then check it with the Wikipedia citation. Should be helpful!