Are we ALL ready to use Wiki technology in the classroom? How might you use this Wiki technology within the classroom?
Firstly, what is a Wiki?
Palloff (2007) states that a wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wikis support hyperlinks and have simple text links for creating new pages and cross links between internal pages (Palloff, 2007)
Wiki’s are designed to help groups collaborate, share and build online content (Margaret West, 2008). Margaret West (2008) states that without context and support, online groups can experience unbalanced participation, a lack of progress and direction, mistrust, misunderstandings and conflicts.
Theory – Active Learning Framework & Contructivism
Whilst experimenting and discovering the Wiki I found it fits in completely with the Active Learning framework. This framework allows students to obtain input from multiple sources through multiple senses, interacting with other people and materials and requires students to produce a response or evidence showing the interactive learning taking place (ACU, 2000).
Educators today understand that meaningful learning cannot be accomplished solely through passive activities such as reading and listening. According to constructivist theory, meaning is gathered through active learning, social interaction and the construction of knowledge. (Margaret West, 2008)
A wiki can also be analysed through the constructivism approach as a wiki can be edited and added on to according to other people’s perceptions or prior experiences of a certain topic. Constructivist believe that learners construct their own reality or at least interpret it based upon their perceptions of experiences, so an individual's knowledge is a function of one's prior experiences, mental structures, and beliefs that are used to interpret objects and events (Sharma & Tomar, 2005).
Using Wiki’s within the Classroom
This is an example of how I may use a wiki in my classroom. I would create a wiki that showed the students, other teachers and parents the text for the curriculum. This would allow students to co-construct what they will be learning during the year. This will allow the creation of a positive classroom environment as students will feel they are contributing to their own learning. There are many ways to incorporate this technology into the classroom and this is just one idea.
Does anyone have any other ideas they would like to share?
Has anyone had any negative experiences with Wiki’s?
I have also found a really good Wiki at http://flatclassroomproject.wikispaces.com that was created by Vicki Davies so that students could be connected to other learners around the world.
ACU. (2000). What is Active Learning? Accessed August 3rd, 2009, from http://www.acu.edu/cte/activelearning/whatisal.htm
Palloff, R & Pratt, K (2007) Building Online Learning Communities, John Wiley and Sons, San Francisco
Sharma, S & Tomar, M (2005) Learning and Teaching: Isha Books. India
West, M (2008) Using Wiki’s for Online Collaboration, John Wiley and Friends; San Francisco.