Technology

The Case for Classroom Wikis

What is a Wiki?

Content is the name of the game when it comes to classrooms now a days, if the content is not interesting and compelling, students will be bored and tune out what is going on. One of the ways that content can be made more engaging is to have students help to build the content themselves through wikis. A wiki is an editable collection of webpages on given topics. While a wiki is not a new idea, the most famous wiki being wikipeida.com. They aren’t used in classrooms all that much, but they can give great power when used. As teachers we should be wanting our students to apply knowledge/content at higher application levels and a wiki is an excellent way to do this because you are given control to the students. Since a wiki doesn’t have one person in charge all students can have an equal voice. This voice allows students to demonstrate that they are learning the material by creating new material in a collaborative fashion.

How Can I Use a Wiki in my Classroom?

One example of a collaborative way application would be to create group project proposal, students would be assigned a small group and within that group they would have to design a proposal structure. Each person would be assigned a different section on separate pages of the proposal. They could they do any needed research to write their section and complete the writing process. Once every one has completed their sections, they would as a group go through and critic the document as a whole and make any notations for corrections or improvements. A wiki could also be used to take notes in a lab environment, by different members of the group such as in a chemistry or science class. In almost any class they could also be used as work journals to record the processes done in a writing or math class or document progress in an art class with notations of changes or ideas.

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