For years language teachers have been asking their students to do written work, to be corrected by herself. In the best of cases, peer review was done. Students have been writing just to comply with the teacher’s requirements. All this responds to a teacher-centered paradigm. Student-centered.
Blogs and Wikis Students on the Web! Gladys Baya Ma. Claudia Bellusci Feb. 2007 "All learning begins when our comfortable ideas turn out to be inadequate." John Dewey
“ A weblog is a website that is updated regularly and organised chronologically according to date, and in reverse order from most recent entry backwards. Weblogs can also provide decentralised access rights which allows multiple authors.” ( Ward, 2004 )
What makes weblogs attractive to EFL/ESL educators is that they give students a chance to put what they are learning in the classroom to use in expressive , interactive ways. In addition to reading and writing practice , blogs allow learners to share their personal thoughts and ideas , and to meet and interact with people around the world doing the same. The resulting conversations expose learners to authentic uses of the language , stimulating and challenging them in ways that classroom experiences cannot. This is particularly helpful for EFL learners, for whom immersion is unlikely. ( Campbell A., 2005)
a new version is saved. the result of the group’s interactions. a computer with an Internet connection. controlling who can read and/or edit (some pages of) your wiki. the product. by the wiki hosts, and you can get back ups downloaded to your hard disk. that their words may be deleted or changed by others.
A continuing story in which the class adds sentence using new vocabulary words and writes and adventure story in collaboration with the entire class.
A writer’s workshop with suggested revisions from classmates. Get them to start with drafts and collaborate!
Summary and discussion chapter by chapter of a novel, with groups taking responsibility for different portions.
Publication of students' final work - e.g. letters of complaint (written as training for exams).
Intensive reading of actual text on the wiki- with links to a glossary to explain vocabulary, exercises on different aspects of the texts, etc. Each student or group could be responsible for a portion, then ALL can edit and revise to improve the collaborative project.
Creative writing projects, such as a travel brochure wiki, a cookery book or a virtual art gallery (with ongoing criticism and responses).
A collaborative project (e.g. interviews) with speakers in another location: A day in the life of an American/Japanese/French/German/Mexican family.
Some teachers and students are uncomfortable about the advantages and disadvantages of public writing.
Students are sometimes reluctant to contribute to wikis because they lack confidence in their writing, they worry about not receiving credit for contributions, or they do not like their ideas, words, contributions being revised or deleted without consent.
Some technology averse students find the steps for editing or posting work daunting. They may also lack access to computers.
Use of visuals and design options at wikis is quite limited. This might put off some students, especially young ones.