Beyond Classroom Tech Tips…

January 22, 2007

Go Wiki Wacky!

Filed under: Wiki — Donna DesRoches @ 4:30 pm

A wiki is a website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change available content, and typically without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for mass collaborative authoring. The online encyclopedia wikipedia is a an example of a wiki. (Wikipedia)

Curriculum Connections:
Wikis can be used for many different types of collaborative projects. Students can work together with others in their class as well as others around the world. They can work from a classroom or school lab computer and use their computers from home. A wiki can be used to create a student written ‘text-book’, to create a class set of review notes, to collect in one place student work such as poetry and other forms of literature, to collectively share ideas, to revise and modify written work and to depict the events and steps in an ongoing project. When students work together on a wiki they learn how to recognize wiki information when encountered on the web and will be better able to assess the credibility of the information.

Examples of Wikis
If you want to explore wikis I would suggest that you create a wiki at WikiSpaces. WikiSpaces is offering 100,000 websites to educators free of advertising and with no usage limits. I would suggest that you have a name for your wiki chosen before you begin or it will take longer than the 30 seconds needed to create your site :-). Scroll down to the right hand bottom of the page to find the link to create an K-12 wiki. PB Wiki for Education is another wiki site worth considering.

Some points of comparison with between the two wiki sites might be:

    sign-up and log-in procedures
    free or fee-based
    notification of changes
    Editing features
    ‘word-processing’ tools
    creating links
    inserting images, tables, sound, video
    history and discussion pages

Using Wikis
Vicki Davis, writer of the Cool Cat Teacher Blog created a great video presentation for a K-12 Online Conference that provides an overview of wikispaces. You can access the low res or a high res video at Wiki Collaboration Across the Curriculum.
Her presentation covers:

    Wiki Background
    Why students need to know how to wiki
    A brief overview of the active portion of this project
    The pedagogical use of wikis in the classroom
    Wiki assessment strategies
    Common questions from school administrators

Also at the conference site you will also find the video show notes and a wiki rubric. You may also want to explore Vicki’s classroom wiki site.

If you want to know more about wiki’s the following articles offer useful information:
7 Things You Should Know About…Wikis from Educause Learning
Point/Counterpoint Are Wikis Worth the Time? By Dean Shareski and Carol Ann K. Winkler

The following are some examples of collaborative projects using wikis:
Theatre Arts (NBCHS) Comedia del’Arte
Welcome to the Glengarrypedia Wiki (2006) (Grade nine students of Lower Canada College)
Hafford (at WikiPlaces) – Hafford School – Grade 2 and Grade 5/6
Favourite Foods Graph Kathy Cassidy’s Grade 1/2 class (Moose Jaw).


1 Comment »

  1. Hi Donna, Thanks for the publicity.

    I’ve signed up to Wikiplaces too; but I haven’t had time to experiment with it yet. Pat

    Comment by Patricia — January 28, 2007 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

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