When assigned to create a Wiki page and explore Wikipedia, I was very excited as I have already used this learning tool. Last year, I was placed in a year seven class and created a Wiki page to teach the learners about genetic engineering as an online tool for the students to complete. It was great and had quizzes and attachments to other sites for further reading and I found it to be similar to blogging, however I used it as a more professional tool.
A Wiki is commonly utilised as software that allows the users to create their own webpage and contains many features such as hyperlinks (What is a Wiki, 2002). Wikipedia, unlike other encyclopaedia is free and written by the people (Papageorge, 2006). Some Wiki pages have settings to allow access from any online user and these uses are entitled to make any changes to the Wiki without authorisation, making it an unreliable source for information. This means that Wikis are not necessarily factual and are seen to sometimes contain very biased opinions (Papageorge, 2006).
How could Wikis be used in the classroom?
Well Wikis can actually be very useful if used correctly. The Learning Manager could set up an online virtual classroom and add to this by using a Wiki. The students could access this site from home and complete the activities or complete online learning activities that the Learning Manager has set up as a hyperlink on the topics. Wikis can be used to connect students, teachers and parents to classroom learning’s and could be used to share ideas about school initiatives (Wikis in Education, 2009).
Wikis can be also used as an introduction to subjects and set up to be only accessed by the learners in the classroom and I figured out a way to ensure that the students can only view the site and complete the activities and the Learning Manager is the only member authorised to make changes to the site and can also view what students are completing what activities on the site. Educational Wikis give students a chance to connect with each other and communicate ideas and further their learning’s. The Engagement theory once again hits the nail on the head when it talks about collaboration. Wikis can be used to gather ideas for group assignments. The learners have the opportunity to speak out. If the students can use Wiki pages to collaborate and add on ideas, then this could be used as the communication backbone needed for the students to develop skills and use different ideas to get the task done (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999).
I found Wiki very easy to use and create. I think that with pedagogy behind the activities, that the learners would really be engaged in this technology tool. After all, when students are engaged, the road to learning is made…just a thought.
Have a look at my wiki page at: http://geneticengineering08.wetpaint.com
Educational Wikis (2009). Viewed on 02/08/09 from:
Papageorge, V. (2002). Wikipedia proves to be unreliable. Viewed on 02/08/09 from:
What is a Wiki? (2002). Viewed on 15/08/09 from:
Wikis in Education (2009). Viewed on 13/08/09 from: