Wikis in Education


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An overview of the use of wikis in education including what, how, why, and examples.

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  • Wikis are an exciting Web 2.0 tool which can be used to support teaching and learning in K-12 education.
  • In this presentation, we will describe wikis and how to use them. We will also describe why wikis are used in K-12 education and give some examples of their use. Finally, we will summarize with benefits of and concerns about wikis. This presentation is set up to run automatically with timing. Alternatively, you can navigate through this presentation by clicking on one of the five bullets on any of the section pages. To return to this overview page from a section page, click on the wiki graphic in the upper left corner of the page.
  • First, what are wikis?
  • Wikis are meant to involve a group of people who can create together.
  • A teacher can decide whether their wiki can be viewed or edited by anyone or just wiki members and can also see change history including who, what, and when.
  • A wiki is a collaborative tool that allows groups to communicate and coordinate.
  • Next, how do you set up and use wikis.
  • It’s easy to create a wiki by using a wiki service and follow some best practices in order to get the most out of collaborative use of the wiki with your classroom.
  • The three main free wiki services used by educators are Wikispaces, Pbworks, and Wetpaint.
  • There are great tutorials and instructions for creating wikis available on the Internet.
  • In order for wikis to provide for and promote successful learning environments, follow some best practices with your students.
  • Next, why are wikis beneficial to teaching and learning.
  • When wikis are used correctly, the learning is more student-centered. The collaborative nature of wikis “enhances peer interaction and group work” (Parker & Chao, 2007, p. 58). The “read/write environment allows for active constructing, sharing, and learning” (Maine, 2008, p. 5). Knowledge and expertise is shared among a community of learners.
  • Studies show that cooperative learning works. For example, in a 1999 study, Donald Paulson found that more students passed his course when he used cooperative and active learning strategies rather than non-interactive lectures.
  • Students who work in cooperative teams retain information longer and achieve higher levels of thought than students who work individually.
  • When students are adding new content to a wiki, they are reaching the higher levels of Bloom’s revised taxonomy. They are creating.
  • Wikis engage 21st century learners who expect interaction and are comfortable in virtual spaces.
  • Louise Maine surveyed her students and found they liked wikis better than other technologies used in her high school science class. Click on the graphic of the teen at the podium to hear what one student, Alex Fedigan, had to say about wikis.
  • We must prepare our students for the 21st century workplace where collaboration is an essential skill.
  • What are some examples of uses of wikis in education?
  • Wikis can be used in a variety of educational contexts. They can be used between teacher and student and student to student for learning in the classroom, to reach out and learn with other students across the globe, and for teachers to create collaborative communities with other teachers and administrators.
  • There are a variety of ways that teachers can use wikis in the classroom. The best Web 2.0 uses promote student interaction and assist in construction and sharing of knowledge.
  • Wikis can be used at a variety of grade levels. Here are some specific examples of classroom use. You can find many other ideas on the Internet.
  • Louise Maine’s high school science classroom is wiki-centered. She uses her classroom wiki for a range of activities to provide information to students and to get them engaged and active in the learning process.
  • The wiki-centered classroom is one where the teacher and student share teaching and learning responsibilities.
  • In Gary Klingman’s middle school world history wiki, he gets students involved as individuals, as groups, and as an entire class.
  • Elementary school wikis are usually more simplistic, but still try to involve the students in the creating and collaborative processes.
  • Global wikis are an excellent way for students to connect with other students around the world.
  • The Flat Classroom project is an excellent example of a global wiki. Students involved in this project shared information about current societal issues.
  • Teachers can use wikis to learn and collaborate with other educational professionals.
  • Educational professionals share information and learn about new technology and curriculum at the 21st Century Learning wiki.
  • So, what are the benefits of and concerns about the use of wikis in education?
  • Wikis allow students to develop many essential skills and to be actively involved in the learning process.
  • Teachers can use wikis to foster and administer collaborative, cooperative learning.
  • Some of the concerns can be addressed by developing and enforcing wiki “ground rules” and establishing a sense of community trust in the classroom. The benefits outweigh the concerns: a wiki is a technology tool which can enhance teaching and learning.
  • Wikis in Education

    1. 1. Wikis in Education Kaisa Mikkola Eastern Michigan University Kathy Lester EDMT 680
    2. 2. Wikis in Education  What is a Wiki?  How to Use Wikis  Why Use a Wiki?  Examples  Summary
    3. 3. Wikis in Education  What is a Wiki? Wiki?  How to Use Wikis  Why Use a Wiki  Examples  Summary
    4. 4. What is a Wiki?  Website that allows a group of people to create and edit the website contents without any special technical knowledge or tools.  History Ward Cunningham is the man behind the very first wiki, described it as "the simplest online database that could possibly work” (Nations, 2009, p. 1)  “wiki wiki” = Hawaiian for quick or fast
    5. 5. Characteristics of Wiki  “A wiki invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki Web site, using only a plain- vanilla Web browser without any extra add-ons.”  “Wiki promotes meaningful topic associations between different pages by making page link creation almost intuitively easy and showing whether an intended target page exists or not.”  “A wiki is not a carefully crafted site for casual visitors. Instead, it seeks to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Web site landscape.” (Wiki, 2009)
    6. 6.  Easy to use  Can be used any time, any where  Keeps track of revision history and who has made changes  Can be set to be public or private  Is constantly under construction  Collaboration is key What? □ Features of a wiki
    7. 7. What? □ A collaborative tool Wikis in Plain English Click arrow by Common Craft to continue
    8. 8. Wikis in Education  What is a Wiki?  How to Use Wikis  Why Use a Wiki?  Examples  Summary
    9. 9. How to Use Wikis  Choose a wiki service  Create your wiki  Use best practices  Start “wiki-ing”!
    10. 10.  Wikispaces  PBworks  Wetpaint How? □ Choose a wiki service - Compare wiki services at:
    11. 11.  Each service provides instructions  Wikispaces: step-by-step video tutorial  Use edit button to access WYSIWYG tools How? □ Create a wiki -Wikispaces: -PBWorks: -Wetpaint:
    12. 12.  Create a culture of trust  Set up wiki rules  Assign meaningful, authentic activities  Provide instructions and allow for practice How? □ Best Practices -See a sample wiki agreement at : -
    13. 13. Wikis in Education  What is a Wiki?  How to Use Wikis  Why Use a Wiki?  Examples  Summary
    14. 14. Why Use a Wiki?  Allows for pedagogical strategies  Cooperative learning  Active learning  Project-based learning  Authentic instruction  Inquiry  Constructivism  Differentiated instruction
    15. 15. The pass rate increased, when Paulson switched to cooperative and active learning strategies. Quarter Why? □ Research Supports Cooperative Learning For more information on cooperative learning go to:
    16. 16.  Mastery and retention of material  Quality in reasoning strategies  Process gains: such as production of new ideas  Transference of learning Why? □ Advantages of Cooperative Learning - Johnson and Johnson (as cited in Warburton, 2006)
    17. 17. Why? □ Active Learning Creating, adding to, and modifying content in a wiki moves students up into the higher order thinking skills of Bloom’s revised taxonomy (Churches, 2008)
    18. 18. Why? □ To engage today’s students A Vision of K-12 Students Today Click arrow by B. Nesbitt to continue
    19. 19. Click arrow to continue What Students Say (Fedigan, 2009) (Maine, 2009)
    20. 20.  Create  Communicate  Collaborate  Manage & evaluate online information Why? □ Essential Skills for 21st Century Workplace “A power shift is underway and a tough new business rule is emerging: Harness the collaboration process or perish” -Tapscott and Williams (as cited in Ferriter, 2009, p. 38)
    21. 21. Wikis in Education  What is a Wiki?  How to Use Wikis  Why Use a Wiki?  Examples  Summary
    22. 22. Examples  Classroom Communities  Global Communities  Professional Communities
    23. 23.  Post class information  Share resources  Whole class projects  Group-based projects  Brainstorm  Reflection/feedback/discussion  Peer or teacher writing review □ Use of Wikis in the Classroom -See Educational Wikis for classroom examples: -
    24. 24.  K-1: Create an animal alphabet wiki  Elementary grades: create a spelling wiki that could become a virtual word wall.  MS or HS: collaboration on any group project  For a grammar lesson, have the students edit a paragraph inserting all punctuation and capitalization.  Build a story by having each student add to the existing story line.  Build a wiki about the seven continents. After reviewing, each continent ask students to post two facts about what they have learned.  Have students write a daily reflection (What about wikis, 2007-2009) □ Some specific classroom use ideas - See TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for many other specific ideas:
    25. 25.  Mrs. Maine’s Wiki  “wiki is the hub”  Maine posts daily instructions, rubrics, and resources  Students post research, lab data, and observations  Students hold discussions, collaborate on group projects, and post their final work. (Rubenstein, 2008) □ Example of a HS Classroom Wiki -See Louise Maine’s HS Science wiki at:
    26. 26. Classroom Instruction Teacher Student Created Created Wiki Online Online Content Content Cooperative Learning □ Pedagogy of a Wiki-Centric Classroom (Davis, 2006)
    27. 27.  The Bear-Den  Gary Klingman posts instructions, rubrics, and resources  Students post notes and assignment work  Students work individually, in groups, and as an entire class  Links to class blog and podcast  Main focus: collaborative learning (Klingman, 2007) □ Example of a MS Classroom Wiki -See Gary Klingman’s 8th grade World History wiki at:
    28. 28.  Global Gorillas Wiki  Mainly a place to showcase student work including:  Movies  Podcasts  Blog entries  PowerPoint presentations  Each student has own wiki page  Civil War Group Project wiki □ Example of a Elementary Classroom Wiki -See Jan Abernathy’s 5th grade class wiki at:
    29. 29.  Pen pals  Global group projects with emphasis on:  Global citizenship  Social attitudes and values across the globe  Global perspective on current issues. □ Use of Global Wikis with Students -See Wikis in Education at Wetpaint for specific examples:
    30. 30.  Flat Classroom Project  Connects students from around the world to analyze the 10 societal trends from The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman.  Students were paired with a global partner to use a joint wiki to describe, give viewpoints, and create a video about their societal trend. (Lindsay and Davis, 2007) □ Example of a Global Wiki -For additional information see:
    31. 31.  Meeting Planning  Curriculum Development  Professional Development  Team or Department Collaboration  Professional Learning Communities □ Use of Teacher Peer Wikis -See Wikis in Education at Wetpaint for specific examples:
    32. 32.  21st Century Learning  A wiki with 125 members (as of 7/25/09) who share information about 21st century learning. □ Example of a Teacher Peer Wiki -See the 21st Century Learning wiki at:
    33. 33. Wikis in Education  What is a Wiki?  How to Use Wikis  Why Use a Wiki?  Examples  Summary
    34. 34. Summary  Benefit for Students  Can contribute anytime, anywhere  Develop collaborative skills  Develop skills in negotiation and organization  Develop critical writing skills  Develop sense of responsibility and ownership (Richardson, 2005)
    35. 35. Summary  Benefit for Teachers  Engage students with use of new technology  Easily track student submissions  Increase student accountability in a group  Create and maintain space easily  Foster a sense of community within the classroom (Lamey, 2007)
    36. 36. Summary  Concerns  Wiki “vandalism”  Student privacy issues for public wikis  No concurrent editing of a page  Combating “copy and paste”  Limited access to computers can be a deterrent  Some school districts block or filter wikis
    37. 37. References Churches, A. (2008, April 1). Bloom's taxonomy blooms digitally. Retrieved July 25, 2009, from Tech & Learning Educators' Ezine: Common Craft. (2007, May 29). Wikis in plain English. Retrieved July 30, 2009, from YouTube: Davis, V. A. (2006, October 12). The web 2.0 classroom. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from K12 Online Conference: Davis, V. A. (2007). Wikis in the classroom. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from SlideShare: Fedigan, A. (2009). What students say about using a wiki. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from VoiceThread: Ferriter, B. (2009). Learning with blogs and wikis. Educational Leadership , 66 (5), 34-38. Klingman, G. (2007, December 5). Wiki: Bear-Den. Retrieved July 27, 2009, from Examples of Educational Wikis:
    38. 38. References Lamey, L. (2007, December 2). Wiki: A Tool for Collaboration. Retrieved July 21, 2009, from wikisforcollaboration: Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. (2007). Flat classrooms. Learning & Leading with Technology , 35 (1), 28-30. Maine, L. (2008). Why wiki. Retrieved July 21, 2009, from Edutopia: maine-why.pdf Maine, L. (2009, June). Wiki central: presentation for NECC 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from SlideShare: for-necc?type=presentation Nations, D. (2009). What is a wiki? Retrieved August 3, 2009, from web trends: Nesbitt, B. (2007, November 28). A vision of K-12 students today. Retrieved July 20, 2009, from YouTube: Parker, K. R., & Chao, J. T. (2007). Wiki as a teaching tool. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, 3, 57-72.
    39. 39. References Paulson, D. R. (1999). Active learning and cooperative learning in the organic chemistry lecture class. Chemical Education Research , 76 (8), 1136-1140. Richardson, W. (2005). What's a wiki? A powerful collaborative tool for teaching and learning. That's What! Multimedia & Internet@Schools , 12 (6), 17-21. Rubenstein, G. (2008, August 13). Wiki woman: how a web tool saved my career. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from Edutopia: Warburton, S. (2006). Wikis and collaboration: approaches to deploying wikis in educational settings. Retrieved July 25, 2009, from SlideShare: deploying-wikis-in-educational-settings?src=related_normal&rel=935188 What about wikis. (2007-2009). Retrieved August 3, 2009, from Teach web 2.0: Wiki. (2009). Retrieved July 31, 2009, from Wikipedia:
    40. 40. Image Sources listed in slide order: 1. Wiki graphic: 4. Ward Cunningham: 6. Construction: 9. Keyboard: 10. Wikispaces logo: 10. Pbworks logo: 10. Wetpaint logo: 11. Edit button and toolbar: 12. Trust: 14. Big puzzle: 15. Paulsen graph: 16. Girls outside: 17. Blooms Simple: 17. Go On Creating: 19. What Students Say Graph: for-necc?type=presentation 19. Teen @ Podium: 20. Wikinomics:
    41. 41. Image Sources listed in slide order (continued): 22. Hand Circle: 23. Students with Laptop: 24. Boys on Computers: 25. Mrs. Maine’s Wiki: 26. Wiki-Centric Pedagogy: 27. Bear Den: 28. Global Gorillas: 29. Hands on Globe: 30. Flat Classroom: 31. Teacher with Laptop: 32. 21st Century Learning: 34. Behind Laptop: 35. Teacher with Laptop 2: 36. They’re not here to socialize: