Friday, March 6

#16 (WEEK 7) Learn about wikis and discover some innovative ways that educators use them

A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and most well known of these knowledge sharing tools. The popularity of these tools is exploding.

Some of the benefits that make the use of wikis so attractive are:

  • Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit, or delete content.
  • Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
  • Earlier versions of a page can be rolled back and viewed when needed.
  • Users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content. In most cases simple syntax structure is used.
As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, schools and libraries all over the country have begun to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, conference wikis and best practices wikis.

Discovery Exercises:

  1. For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at some VET and teaching wikis and blog about your findings. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

    • Jon Beasley-Murray writes about an amazing project that brings the full extent of the communal and collaborative power of Wikipedia into the classroom
    • Web design at Wikiversity - a web design course being built on the wikiversity.
    • WikiEducator - another interesting education based wiki - this one limited(?) to the tottering remains of the British Empire :-)

  2. Create a blog post about your findings. What did you find interesting? What types of applications in VET (in general) and your training (in particular) might work well with a wiki?

Discovery Resources:
Use these resources to learn more about wikis.

Curriculum Connections:
Wikis can be made for any classroom!

  1. Idea #1: Collaborative note-taking. Everyone pitches in and adds a fact or two about a topic. Trainers can encourage students to include opinions, challenges, and appropriate criticism. Students would then write essays using only these notes. Make sure that each addition includes a citation to website, book, or database, including page numbers so that it can be checked.
  2. Idea #2: History. Students can compile a wiki of famous artists, architects, writers, and other key figures from a vocation, country or historical milieu.
  3. Idea #3: Create a "top 10" lists and supporting material. This could include scientists and their discoveries, top writers and their books, performance criteria ... you get the idea.
  4. Idea #4: Mission trading cards (see Week 3), once completed, could be added to a class wiki.

[Note: Please remember to include WEEK# and THING# in your heading posts.]

1 comment:

Anyone4coffee said...

Week 7 -wikis

I found several of the sites a bit gruesome- they were very text heavy.

I'd like to see some of the examples given in practice. They sound intriguing but unless they match your teaching style tend to fall flat.

I created a wiki earlier this year for English language teachers to share resources, ideas and web-sites they fiind useful in the ESOL classroom or for use with Smartboards. They were not very responsive- but I shall soldier on.