Wiki the Hawaiian word for quick (Cunningham, 1994 as cited by Augar, Raitman and Zhou, 2004) is a free online resource that provides opportunities for collaboration and interaction among users anywhere in the world to add and modify content to a specific website (Wikipedia, 2009). Wiki's can be an effective pedagogical strategy, constructed for the enhancement of online collaboration and authoring from individuals or groups (Peterson, 2009).
Who can edit and add information to a wiki page?
Wiki's contian controlled security settings, the authour can set the page to only allow interested members to view and modify the site's content, or allow the page to be open for anyone anywhere in the world to post comments and change data. These security settings can only be made by the author of the wiki, allowing them the ability to control who can and cannot add or modify information to their website.
I have created my own wiki using wikispaces software. It was a simple and guided process to set up. I chose to create a space for learning managers like myself to share and combine our understandings about e-learning tools and teaching ideas to help extend and refine our knowledge for our future careers in education. Please feel free to view my wiki and share your thoughts and understandings by simply following the link below and become a member of my wiki.
Ideas for the classroom:
After the creation of my wiki, I discovered the many possible ways wiki's can be embedded into the classroom.
Wiki's can provide students and teachers the opportunity to work collaboratively reading and modifying one and another’s work. They are an excellent and engaging tool to incorporate within a variety of tasks across all year levels and subjects. Wiki's allow students to actively participate in set tasks such as online class discussions about homework, assessment tasks or school committee problems, allowing students to take ownership and responsibility for their own learning (ACU, 2000).
Assigning group assessment tasks incorporating the wiki tool can be an effective and simple way for students to gather various information and images collaboratively. By creating a webpage about a specific topic such as an endangered animal and allowing those who are in the group to add their thoughts and ideas to the page. Students would not need to meet face to face for all group meetings as they can simply work on their own individual parts of the assignment and collaboratively share their thoughts and ideas online. Wiki's can be a great tool to prevent students from being left out or controlled by peers that generally take over the assigned task.
Using a wiki as an online school recipe book, written and illustrated by all year levels would be a great task for all students and parents to participate in. It could begin in the early years and be edited by year twelve students.
Now to reflect on how easy it is for wikis to be incorporated within the classroom it becomes apparent that it follows the framework of the Active Learning Processes (ACU, 2000).
These scaffolded steps within the active learning framework follows the input, where students are accessing a variety of sources through various senses such as visual materials (text, pictures, videos), audio (recordings, videos, avatars) and many more (ACU, 2000).
Then followed is the process where students are interacting with these resources for example an assessment task researching an endangered animal, creating a recipe book with illustrations, videos, avatars stimulating multiple parts of the brain.
In conclusion the students produce the output which would be the assessable task in which they have collabritively worked on and shown evidence of the active learning that has taken place (ACU, 2000).
There are multiple ideas that wiki's can be used to enhance students learning within the classroom to ensure student success, I have only listed a couple but would love to hear some of your own thoughts please feel free to list your comments below or visit my wiki site mentioned earlier.
Until next time,
ACU. (2000). What is Active Learning? Retrieved August 5, 2009, from http://www.acu.edu/cte/activelearning/whatisal.htm
Augar, N., Raitman, R. & Zhou, W. (2004). Teaching and learning online with wikis. In R. Atkinson, C. McBeath, D. Jonas-Dwyer & R. Phillips (Eds), Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference (pp. 95-104).Retrieved August 10, 2009, from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/perth04/procs/augar.html
Peterson, E. (2009). Using a Wiki to Enhance Cooperative Learning in a Real Analysis Course 19 (1), Teaching Technology. Retrieved August 10, 2009, from http://elishapeterson.wikidot.com/docs:papers
Wikipedia. (2009).What is a Wiki? Retrieved August 13, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki