Vicki Davis (a computer science teacher in Georgia) and Adam Fray (from Wikispaces) were interviewed by Steve Hargadon of EdTechLive.com (the podcast can be found here). They discussed using wikis in the classroom – a topic that has become near and dear to my heart.
Vicki has done some amazing things with wikis in her classroom, really bringing the spirit of Web 2.0 and wikis directly to the students. Her educational wikis are great examples as to how to make a wiki central to a class. I have been inspired by this podcast to take the integration of wikis into my AP World History classes a step further then I had initially planned. Instead of using one single wiki project closer to the AP exam as a review guide (as I did last year), I am going to start it now – building a bigger collective of world history knowledge that will help them prepare for the exam. Hopefully the students will buy in and participate.
I did like another point Vicki made about the difference between blogs and wikis. Blogs are for opinions and wikis are for facts. I really think that nails the standard using of blogs and wikis right on the head. In a recent post on her blog, she also outlines ways she uses wikis (each of these are fully explained on her blog):
- Lesson Summaries
- Collaboration of Notes
- Concept Introduction and Exploratory Projects
- Dissemination of Important Classroom Information beyond the Classroom
- Individual assessment projects
I have long used traditional web pages and even a blog to accomplish #3 and #4. Now I am using Moodle, which allows a different sort of collaboration and communication. I really like the idea of the collaboration of notes and lesson summaries, perhaps created by an assigned scribe. What I would like to see more flushed out is the individual assessment projects. The Design Patterns for EduWikis is certainly a good place to start. Wikis are an incredible publishing tool which provides teachers and students ability to easily create web pages AND collaborate online.
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Thanks for consolidating all this into a blog post – we are in the middle of configuring a wiki for a local school so this will be valuable insight into how a teacher uses this great technology.
The wiki platform we use is CoActLive (www.coactlive.com) which has both structured and unstructured data features but the coolest part is that it works great with rich media content such as voice and video files. I think it would be great if teachers could use video (if it was simple to record) for #3 and #4 above.