Thursday, December 10, 2009

What Are They Good For?

Wikis are excellent tools to be integrated into a classroom and into a child’s daily life. As I worked on creating my own wiki (to be, hopefully, introduced into my classroom either next semester or next year), I have really come to understand just how useful and beneficial they can be for students. In order for children to develop a significant relationship with the information they are being presented during their regular school day, it is important that they are able to intimately interact with that information. A wiki is an excellent way to do that. Through the process of collaboration and communication, students can acquire the ability to participate meaningfully in an academic environment.

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the concept of using a wiki…maybe you’re wondering “Why would I want to use a wiki for my classroom? Well, I have a few ideas for you:

1. Wikis are a GREAT way to assess student learning.
2. Wikis are a wonderful way for you to integrate writing into ANY subject.
3. Wikis are excellent resources for students to peruse when trying to study for a test.
4. Wikis are INSTANTLY collaborative…people are editing, commenting, etc. at all times, and everyone has a say.
5. Wikis can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection!

In a previous post, I also mentioned some key reasons why Wikis are an awesome resource for may want to take a look. The post was entitled: "Wikis and Blogs and Online Journals (Oh My!)"

Wikis allow students to take control of what they are leaning and to become empowered by it. A wiki can be used as an online journal and resource for a class as they make their way through their different school subjects. I think wikis could be a resource children can use to find information on the topics they are learning. Students can post audio files, images and videos; it could be kept up to date with the most recent information; ranging from PowerPoint slides, photos, educational links, games, assignments, and articles. Students could edit the pages themselves and add anything they find relevant and informational. They can also add photographs of themselves and information about who they are and why they are interested in science. That could even be a journal post they make.

There are hundreds of ways to utilize wikis in schools. I would suggest searching for educational wikis online as a way to form ideas as to how you want to utilize one in your class. Here is a
link that offers TONS of educational wikis to view and analyze. Now go forth and create your wiki!

OH! And here is a funny picture for you. Whenever I discuss wikis, I ALWAYS think of wookies and Don't ask me why!
Image accessed from: online movie database

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