Week 6: Wikis and Learning

Wiki’s seem like such a neat tool to use when collaborating as a group on a project. I like that wiki’s help students to work together to derive meaning from the research they are doing on a particular subject. From the readings, I believe there are many benefits to using wiki’s in the classroom.

First, wiki’s allow students to feel comfortable contributing to their group project. Wiki’s allow every student to have a “voice” or input when researching and documenting the information the group is collecting. Also, students are able to not only collaborate with members of their group, but they can collaborate and gain insight from other students or professionals who live around the world.

Another benefit of using wiki’s is that the quality of research that is done by students increases. When viewing the websites from before and after on the University of Michigan Chemistry page, it is evident that student learning had occurred because of the extensive information, links, and references that were included into the after-edit pages. Knowing that students will be required to cite, link, and reference their sources brings the research and learning level to a heightened bar. Even if students are unsure of a source or information, they can work as a team to make decisions on what finally goes into their wiki project. One important point is that students need to know when it is appropriate to edit another student’s work. I liked that the first article we read, The Art of Using Wiki pages to Teach, reminded us of the rules of editing. We need to be respectful of other languages and other’s input. However, by working in the collaborative setting, we can make decisions as a team to decide what is valuable.

Finally, I liked that wiki’s allow users to organize information they are collecting. One thing that I noticed from the Wikipedia pages I looked at was that there were tags at the bottom of the pages to link them to other sources. We learned earlier in the course that there is a benefit to having students tag and classify information for organization. Wiki’s would also foster this type of atmosphere as students work to cite sources, share information, and link to other relevant pages.

Although the typing skills and the computer/internet navigational skills of my second grade students may be minimal, I believe that wiki’s still could be used within my second grade classroom to some capacity.

-Marie

4 thoughts on “Week 6: Wikis and Learning

  1. Shelby Nelson

    Melissa-

    Thanks for introducing me to the doodle survey tool and the google doc tutorial! I am planning on having a lot of different sign ups for next year including volunteering schedules so I am now trying to think of the most efficient way for me and for the parents as well! Thanks!

    Shelby

  2. Melissa Glenn

    Shelby: Again, I have really no experience with wikis, but in reading your comment about using it as a way for parents to sign up for conferences and supplies, I thought that was a great idea. Again, I’m not sure about wikis, but you could use a form set up in goggle docs to do this as we have used this for supply lists for biology labs. You can email out a link to the form, the parent could fill out the form, and the information would be populated in Goggle Docs for you. Here’s a quick tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzgaUOW6GIs . Another possible tool for you would be using a doodle survey (doodle.com). I use this for scheduling meetings and it works so much faster than traditional methods. As a parent, I know that keeping up with all of the party dates and conference dates, as well as supplies for various events, is very difficult! I wish more teachers would put this information online in some way so I don’t have to email (or call) when I forget something. When my kids were younger, I did also volunteer in the classroom, and I remember after arriving at the school, sometimes I was told that something came up and my usual time didn’t work. So, using a Web 2.0 tool would work to better utilize the volunteer time you have.

  3. Shelby Nelson

    Marie,

    Although the typing skills and the computer/internet navigational skills of my second grade students may be minimal, I believe that wiki’s still could be used within my second grade classroom to some capacity.”
    I had also blogged about this during my week 6 post and it’s something that I’ve been thinking about as I learn more about wikis, their uses, and their benefits. I teach kindergarten and I am struggling to see some of the benefits that a wiki would have over a more traditional website or blog. The one idea that popped into my head was to use it as a way for parents to sign up for things- conferences, supply lists, volunteering times, etc. I am having a hard time thinking of ways to collaborate with parents, teachers, etc. through the use of a wiki. Do you have any other ideas that will allow for editing and interlinking webpages (the real uses of wikis) that would benefit your classroom?

  4. Cheryl Burris

    Marie said: Another benefit of using wiki’s is that the quality of research that is done by students increases.

    What a great point. I can appreciate the fact that it raises the group effort into a more refined document. As I think about past projects I have worked on with others, I “raised my game” in what I contributed because it was going to be seen my more people and that was a challenge to me to ensure what I contributed was contribution worthy. Having an audience seems to push people to what they hope they can be instead of just what they are.

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