Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What's a Wiki?

By now I’m sure that most of you have heard the technology buzzword – wiki. My question though is this: How many of you know what a wiki actually is? Further still, how many of you have actually used one? Wel,l whether you have or not, after reading this post and looking at the resources provided, you’ll be able to get started using one! First things first, check out the video about wiki's at the Common Craft website.

Now that you have been introduced to what a wiki is, how can it be useful for teaching? One example would be as follows...  You plan on giving your students a group project to work on. The students take the topic and create all of their resources on a wiki.  These students can now collaborate easily by creating and keeping a single updated draft of a paper or presentation or any other information they decide to utilize, instead of many different drafts that they would eventually need to combine later. This avoids confusion for them and can be done in school as well as outside of school. It can also save you precious teaching time as well as save students from needing to physically meet with each other outside of school. (This is especially helpful if students live far apart.)  

Some wiki sites are available for free educational use for you and your students.  You can get started at the following two sites:  WikiDot and PBWorks.

You can also check out one of the largest wiki's online at www.wikipedia.com.  Who know's maybe this can become a great research resource for you or perhaps you'll even become an editor!

Give it a try and who knows, you and especially your students may wonder what you ever did without this technology!

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