By: Maressa Eads Click on the arrow to begin learning about wikis in education!
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This article offers an insight on two of the most significant Web 2.0 tools, the wiki and the blog. Both powerful tools can be implemented in the classroom to educate students on the new literacy of the Internet era, as well as to strengthen their reading and writing ability. These two tools can overlap in many similar areas, and both have the option to protect users privacy. However, wikis are more centered on collaboration whereas blogs promote engagement. Since wikis in education is the focus, click on the image to learn more about wiki collaboration.
Wikis allow collaboration on a little or big scale. When you think about using wikis in the classroom, this would fall under collaboration on a little scale. In the classroom, teachers use wikis for group projects. Wikis permit approved users to add, revise, and remove content. Therefore, students can put their resources together to create their project. Click on the picture to learn more!
Imperatore, Catherine. (2009). Wikis and Blogs: Your Keys to Student Collaboration and Engagement. Techniques , 84.3 , 30-31. Retrieved from Expanded Academic ASAP database. Choose another article! <ul><li>Most people have busy schedules, and a wiki allows users to add to the project when they have time. A wiki also allows users to set up their own unique design, which can be modified and enhanced by other users in the group. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important to be able to track team members’ activities, not so much for monitoring individual participation, but more so for the purpose of making sure credit is given where it is due for the individual contributions. It is also good to have an established group of users so that everyone is focused on the task. If random people just popped in and were allowed to make postings, it would be easy for the group to lose focus. </li></ul><ul><li>Protecting the privacy of users is a good feature of a wiki. Users need to feel secure in knowing that their participation will not result in the loss of their privacy. </li></ul>3 “A-Ha” Moments I Gathered In Reading This Article: I chose this article because it gave an overview on two of the most important Web 2.0 tools the wiki and the blog. In the article, they gave an overview of how the two were similar and also listed their differences. I mainly stuck to the wiki information since wikis in education was my topic; however, I felt it was important to see that there is a difference between a wiki and a blog. This article really let you see the difference by breaking it down and letting you see that wikis are more focused on collaboration while blogs are more focused on engagement.
Most Web 2.0 tools are talked about in terms of their significance to the learning process. However, there are also principles that have been the objective of teaching at a variety of levels. This article discusses the effective ways a wiki can support and assist construction and collaboration. Click on the image below to learn about the ways wikis can support and aid constructed knowledge and collaborative writing.
Constructed Knowledge Students need to be able to incorporate what they have learned in class and be capable of applying it to related situations. The wiki can help by moving information to useable knowledge. The main purpose of the wiki is to provoke involvement at a level of input that will add to understanding and application of the knowledge, in hopes that it will allow for new knowledge to be produced . Collaborative Writing Wikis are used in education many times for collaborative writing. The wiki provides the site and tools for the students to work collectively on the their project. For collaborative writing to be successful, it relies on the contribution of several students. Click here to learn more!
Reynard, Ruth. (2009). Why Wikis? T.H.E. Journal. Choose another article! <ul><li>What better way to learn something than through hands on experience? As you gather information and build the wiki, it becomes a personalized extension of the users. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important that all users be prepared to work toward continuous improvement of the text. Ideas need to be communicated and assessed by the team. As updates are made and the assignment takes on it’s shape, the more imperative it should be for the team to add detail and further personalize the work. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to successfully use the wiki tool, users must realize that there are no absolutes and be open to challenges to their ideas. Users must also be receptive to the input of others and willing to consider changing their viewpoint for the sake of the project. All ideas are debatable and up for discussion and possible modification. </li></ul>3 “A-HA” Moments I Gathered In Reading This Article: I chose this article because it focuses on two of the most important things that wikis promote: constructed knowledge and collaborative writing. I found it to be an important article because it gives in depth information on how constructed knowledge and collaborative writing are effectively developed when using a wiki in education. To maximize the use of the wiki, it is key for both constructed knowledge and collaborative writing to be successfully used.
When teachers use technology in teaching, there will always be challenges. This article discusses the challenges teachers may face when using wikis and presents ideas on how the wiki may be maximized to ensure a high level of engagement with students. Click on a challenge to look at the challenges teachers face when having students use a wiki as well as the advantages that go along with them. Once you have looked at all the challenges click on the arrow in corner of the page. “ Wikis can provide an effective context within which higher-level thinking skills and collective learning can take place, but not without careful planning on the part of the teacher.”(Reynard) I found this quote very useful, it let me see that if teachers do not engage in the process of using the wiki and creating a meaningful assignment it will not be an effective tool for the students to use.
Creating Meaningful Assignments: Motivation <ul><li>When teachers simply introduce a wiki and then tell their students to use it, the students usually respond poorly because there is no direct assignment. This usually happens because the teacher is also unfamiliar with the tool. This can frustrate the students and result in lack of motivation and participation. The design of an assignment must be established in the viewable aspect as well as the non-viewable educational reasons for doing it. </li></ul><ul><li>When designing an assignment for a wiki teachers should: </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the assignment is moving and not closed. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the assignment requires participation. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the assignment uses the participation to move forward. </li></ul>Choose another challenge!
Grade Value for Constructed Input: Affirmation <ul><li>The effective use of Web 2.0 tools requires students to be active all the way through the development of their assignment. Students become discouraged when they are only graded on the end result of their wiki. </li></ul><ul><li>When grading a wiki assignment teachers should also grade students on: </li></ul><ul><li>Working with and building on existing information </li></ul><ul><li>Inputting new ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesis of ideas and relevant use </li></ul>Choose another challenge!
Collective Knowledge Use: Learning Learning takes place when what is understood is applied in some meaningful context of use. Using a wiki based assignment can help show steps of growth in thinking, collaboration, synthesis, and application. However, when students are given non-complex problems, preset solutions, and inadequate time allowed for process, these obstacles do not allow students to perform at a high level of collaboration. Choose another challenge!
Reynard, Ruth. (2009). 3 Challenges the Wiki Use in Instruction. T.H.E. Journal. Choose another article! <ul><li>A wiki is a team project, and it requires input from all team members. The ultimate goal is completion of the project, but the level of participation can dictate whether the goal is met in a timely manner or if it is a long, drawn out process. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all users will contribute equally in the same areas, but all users should contribute equally. Each individual has their own unique strengths and/or weaknesses, and their participation should be the measure for grading. </li></ul><ul><li>If we already know all of the answers there would be no reason to use a wiki. The goal is completion, but there is no timeline in which it must occur. Through research, teamwork, communication, and a willingness to learn a wiki can be an excellent tool for achieving goals. </li></ul>3 “A-HA” Moments I Gathered In Reading This Article: I chose this article because it contains an immense amount of information on using wikis in the classroom. Not only does it state the challenges teachers face, it also tells you ways these problems can be fixed and the benefits that go along with them. If teachers see the challenges that exist when using wikis in the classroom, before using them, they will be able to carefully plan and prevent the problems. I also felt this article presented the information in a manner anyone could understand. It numbered the challenges, and after each challenge told you the benefits that came along with each. For teachers who have little experience in creating assignments based upon wikis, this would be a good source to keep handy.
Web 2.0 tools, such as Wikis, can be powerful tools when they are correctly applied into the classroom. They can be used at a variety of levels, supporting constructed knowledge and collaborative writing. When using wikis, teachers need to maximize the wiki to ensure a high level of engagement with students. There will always be challenges when using technology in education; however, knowing some of the challenges that exist should help steer you away from problems.
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