Once banned by teachers as a research tool, Wikipedia is now welcomed into classrooms as teachers assign their students to write and edit entries for the online encyclopedia. These projects, supported by The Wikimedia Foundation, have been initiated in 24 universities nationwide, in an effort to help students improve research and writing skills while contributing to public knowledge. Plans to begin a pilot program with a high school teachers are in works. Sheldon Gen, an associate professor at San Francisco State University who asked students to write Wikipedia entries for an environmental policy class explains:
The perception among a lot of people is that Wikipedia is not a particularly good source for newsworthy, policy-worthy information. My students shared that skepticism, but all of them said at the end that they really liked the project. One thing they truly appreciated is they published articles that are now part of the public dialogue.