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  • 1. USING WIKIS IN THE CLASSROOM 1 Running Head: USING WIKIS AND WEB 2.0 SITES TO REACH OUR TECHNOLOGICAL SAVVY STUDENTS Analysis of “Wikis in the High School Classroom: A ‘Cool,’ Living Book Report.” Colleen T. Sheedy. (2009) Wikis in the High School Classroom: A "Cool," Living Book Report. In I. Gibson et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2009 (pp. 2678-2680). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Research Analysis Paper By Erlyn Fukushima In partial fulfillment of the requirements for EDU 710 Erlyn Fukushima March 2010
  • 2. USING WIKIS IN THE CLASSROOM 2 Abstract The purpose of this paper was to explain one trend of using technology to teach our students. This report focused on 10th grade students in an urban Central Florida high school and how they used a Web 2.0 site, http://pbwiki.com, (an interactive site that allows a person to add and edit content that has already been published), to create pages that allowed them to publish book reviews. This last assignment of the year was given to keep students motivated to learn after successfully preparing for an Advance Placement test for World History and English Literature. From these published pages, students were able to critique other student work, as well as group themes found among the pages, and create new pages for these found themes.
  • 3. USING WIKIS IN THE CLASSROOM 3 Wikis in the High School Classroom: A “Cool,” Living Book Report The use of technology is prevalent in our society. Technology use can be categorized into two parts: there is “Hot Media” which “describes technology that is low in user participation” and “Cool Media” which is “high in user participation; this participation is also referred to completion by the audience. (pg.1)” As educators, we often strive to connect what we teach to that which is popular and relevant in our students’ lives. Since students are surrounded by technology, how do we incorporate technology into education? The author, Colleen Sheedy, writes, “Educators strive to engage students in activities in which they will use higher order thinking skills as well as draw connections between what is present and what they can create on their own. (pg.1)” “The more students can complete and contribute to an assignment or project, the better. (pg.1)” The article provided a look at how some educators used “cool media”, a wiki, to keep their students interested and motivated to complete book projects. A Wiki is a type of online application of new and emerging technology called Web 2.0. A wiki provides the user online space to collaborate with others, in such that they can add and edit content that has already been posted. Wiki is a Hawaiian term, meaning “quick”, indicating that “the purpose of a wiki is to collaborate, develop and publish information quickly. (pg.1)” Most educators find that for most students, “doing is more important than knowing, and learning is accomplished through trial and error rather than a rule-based approach. (pg.1)” By having students design, create and complete a project using this technology; it gives them more
  • 4. USING WIKIS IN THE CLASSROOM 4 ownership of the assignment, therefore allowing this learning process to work and be more fulfilling to the student. Method Subjects or Participants The project was designed and completed by tenth grade students who were in an Advanced Placement Academy (APA) at a large, urban high school in the Central Florida area. These students were enrolled in a block schedule of two class periods in which they took Advanced World History and Advanced Literature Honors. For the majority of the school year, the history content was the main focus, in order to prepare them for the AP exam. The literature and reading selections taught for the English course were chosen to enhance the AP world history. The AP testing cycle was in early May, and the school year ended in early June. “The motivation of this project was to introduce a new, innovative way to keep students motivated after the AP World History, as well as provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate and explore technology. (pg.2)” Procedure Students were given four outside reading books, in addition to the reading material required by their teacher. The last book was of their selection. After researching about Web 2.0 technologies, the wiki was selected as the format for the project. Although neither the
  • 5. USING WIKIS IN THE CLASSROOM 5 instructors, nor the students were familiar with the wiki, they proceeded with the assignment. Together, teacher and students explored the many functions of the site. Students completed an individual page; on this page, each student wrote a summary of the book, a critique for the book, and a recommendation of the book, in particular who students thought the best audience for the book would be. (pg.2)” Students then grouped books by overall theme (Holocaust groups, strong women, etc.), and created pages for that particular theme. “The goal of this page was for the students to extract what they thought the theme meant based on the individual summary, critique and recommendations of each book in the group. (pg.2)” Results The results far exceeded their expectations. It was a “creation of content” that was “collaborative, creative, and demonstrated their strong knowledge of the book – far more than a traditional book report could ever demonstrate. (pg.2)” Students had to work collaboratively with other students, as well as with the teacher to create this wiki. The web address of the wiki is: http://sheehyenglish.pbwiki.com The author found a connection between the writing process and using the wiki, “because the nature of the wiki is to continually add, edit, change, and rewrite, the publishing phase of the writing process no longer is the last stop before being done. (pg. 2)” This assignment made the students feel confident in their writing skills, as well as their computer technology skills.
  • 6. USING WIKIS IN THE CLASSROOM 6 Discussion The project results helped strengthen the idea that technology can enhance the learning of students. The interaction and use of Web 2.0 sites, like www.pbwiki.com, can be quite useful “not as a publishing tool, but as an integrated piece of an assignment itself, forc[ing] a shift in thinking for many K12 educators. (pg.2)” The author provided one successful way to use Web 2.0 sites, but there was no data in showing some of the pitfalls that the teachers and students came across. Were there any problems that surfaced when creating these wikis? Were there any copyright problems when posting pictures of the book? Was there teaching of proper internet etiquette? What percentage of students did not successfully post their reviews? Overall, based on the report, and from viewing the web site provided, this was a successful assignment. I would like to try this out in the future with my own students. We live in a society where technology is important, so using technology to reach and teach our students is an obvious choice educators must embrace.