Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why Use Wikis in Classroom


Wikis are a good tool for teachers to use in the classroom it is easy to create documents that need to grow and change.  Documents in a wiki are not tied to time, so they can be continually modified.
You can use a wiki just as a blog in that you can use it to put course information, links to resources students are studying, embed videos.  You can also use it as a portfolio of students work. 

There are a couple of features that wikis have that can´t be beat.

Group Projects
They are the best for collaboration.  Collaborate with other classes at a local or a global scale.  Excellent for group projects.  For example you can do a team project to write about features of their city, with 4 students in each team. Assign each team a task for example one team can research and write about good restaurants in their city.  Another team can write about monuments and so on.  Each team can divide the task among the members.  The restaurant team can each write about one restaurant.  They can put it on the wiki and each team member can revise and edit each others entry.  You can assign another team to be the designers and final editors and they can go into each file and make it look better playing with layout, fonts and adding pictures and videos.  Then you as the final editor can go in and review.

Global Classroom Projects
If you are interested in doing a collaborative project with a classroom in another country here are some links that can help you get started.  Global Classroom Project has a directory of participating classrooms that you can contact and samples of some of the projects that classrooms have worked on.  Flat Classroom is another collaborative group that can give you access to global projects.  Another one is IEARN a non profit organization that has over 30,000 schools participating in 130 countries. They have been around for over 25 years.  You can also check this website which has a list of more ways of finding global partners to collaborate with.

History Revert Back
One of the best features of a wiki is this ability to go back in time to an earlier version.  Suppose that you are almost done with you group project and one student makes a mistake and deletes a major part of what has been written, no problem you can go back to the previous version before he made the mistake and recover the information.  Suppose another students overwrites what another student or you wrote, same thing, just go back to the earlier version before the overwrite and recover the information.

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