Wikipedia remains misunderstood because many educators have yet to recognize the distinction between Wikipedia as a tool for teaching and Wikipedia as a tool for research. Unfortunately, fear of the latter has blinded most to the possibilities of the former. I believe Wikipedia to be an effective tool for both.
Our family's set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica represented wealth and status -- an investment in knowledge. For my father, they meant my brother and I would take a career path that led far away from the long hours that my paternal grandmother spent sewing fur pelts together in a basement in order to support her family as a single mother.