Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Using Wikis in the Classroom

I have to admit that I’m new to all of this wikispaces stuff but it is really wonderful stuff. In fact, I really didn’t even know how to do one until about a month ago when I realized it would be a great way to share some resources before a meeting that I am having at the end of the month. So, I took a big leap and decided I would try it and maybe just do a little sample but the more I did, the more I added. Every day I’m adding to this wikispace. In fact, I think it is alive and is constantly growing every day! Here is the page that I’m using for my Council for Exceptional Children Chapter 877 meeting: Using Technology in the Classroom.


Now you ask, what is a wikispace? According to Wikispaces, they are simple web pages that groups, friends, and families can edit together. There is also a Wikispaces for Educators http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers. Wikispaces for K-12 education use is completely free, and free of advertising. I didn’t know that when I first set up mine so I just used the regular wikispace but of course if I was going to use it with my class, I would use the one for educators.

Wetpaint also offers free wiki webpages. They have a page called Wetpaint Wikis for Education which is a place where educators come together to share tips about using wikis to enhance the learning experience. They also offer free wikipages that are ad-free. I haven’t used Wetpaint yet but I would to create another page with wetpaint so I can compare the two. I like the way wetpaint looks and for some reason it also looks easier to use.

For some reason the formatting in Wikispaces is driving me crazy and that is why you will see fonts of different sizes on my pages. Once I got the text on there and tried to format it, the size was all different and the spacing was awful between the lines. Of course I had so much information already on here, that I was too lazy to put it on wetpaint and decided I will use wetpaint at a later date. Vicki Davis (coolcatteacher) said she thinks wikispaces is more stable than wetpaint so now I don’t know what to do. If you have an opinion let me know please what you think about either one.

It is hard to tell someone how to start a wiki page and the best way to do it would be to join and then start one. There are lots of examples of how teachers use them in the classroom.
Professional Technical Education (using wetpaint)
Eduwikius looks like a collaboration project and they use wikispaces. I love how colorful it is.
Flat Classroom project is an international collaboration project between Bangladesh and Georgia

I think creating a wiki would be a wonderful year long project for a class because they would learn that learning is not a stagnant thing and our knowledge is constantly evolving as we gain new information just like a wiki. We have to be willing to accept and learn new knowledge in order to be successful in life.

4 comments:

Mrs. Richardson's Class said...

Great post about wikis. Wikis are great. I used a wiki page for a community volunteer event to get information and for committee members to post information.

ISTE standard for students is communication and collaboration. Wikis are another tool that offers Creativity and Innovation (another ISTE Standard) to learning.

I am behind on all my reading. I hope you have had a good week.

Thank for your post to my blog today.

Bill

Mrs. Richardson's Class said...

Great post about wikis. Wikis are great. I used a wiki page for a community volunteer event to get information and for committee members to post information.

ISTE standard for students is communication and collaboration. Wikis are another tool that offers Creativity and Innovation (another ISTE Standard) to learning.

I am behind on all my reading. I hope you have had a good week.

Thank for your post to my blog today.

Bill

Kelly - PTT said...

I think this would be a great way to engage the classroom. I can see I have a lot more to learn!

Great post.

loonyhiker said...

Kelly- ptt: Glad you liked this and hope it will be of use to you.