Facts You Should Know About Wikis In The Classroom
Do your students groan when you issue homework? Are you looking to spice up your curriculum? Using wikis in the classroom could be really useful because a Wiki the perfect project to re-energize a class that is getting bored with the same old. Read on to learn how to add this unique tool to make your class one to remember.
The Internet gives students a great opportunity to learn more. It contains a lot of interesting information, which can be effectively used in learning. And there’re many tools and instruments, which help teachers and students to communicate and get better results.
What Is Wiki?
In short, a Wiki is a community to consistently organize and present data. Once upon the time, the Internet was new. Information was spread across a multitude of sites. Each typically having one webmaster to organize it according to their design. Different modules would be bolted onto domains to add a specific feature of how to organize and access data. Then Wikis came. They changed everything with how the Internet was organized. Communities sprouted up, adding, editing, and presenting data in a consistent manner that was easy to use. Netizens across the world rejoiced. This tool has so many possibilities that many educators make a wikispace to enhance their student’s studying routine.
How To Use Wiki?
Taking full advantage to use Wiki is a lot more than browsing the content. Most platforms provide edit and a browsing mode as well as a discussion page. To best use, the power of the wiki is to promote community involvement. When using Wikis in the classroom, students engage each other and feel more involved. They can easily do peer reviews and become invested in the material. Students will naturally start contributing and others will review the work and expand on it. Surely in no time, you’ll notice the class improve writing skills. You’ll also notice increased initiative on-topic matters as student ask if there are enough resources or supplementary information readily available. Using the power of Wiki is a great interactive step to motivate the class.
Most Popular Wikis
So which platform to go with? With so many options, let’s take a look at a few that may work for you.
- Tiki – This one has been around for a long time. You can enjoy features such as RSS feeds, forums, and quizes.
- Docuwiki – This platform is not as rich in features but anyone can use it. This is a great option if you want to focus solely on content.
- WikiDot – They’ve specifically designed a platform for education so you can add formatting and academic stylistics with ease.
- MediaWiki – Do you have a lot of audio/video or clipart? You may want to give this one a try.
- MojoMojo – If you desire content to go through a workflow, MojoMojo implements a content publishing process to force collaboration.
Tips Of Using Wikis In The Classroom
A wiki space classroom is an active classroom. But give some guidance before letting your students jump right in. Wikis for education differ compared to the many hobby or fan platforms that exist online. Follow these tips and you’re sure to get the best results.
- Set the rules – This is a great opportunity to get your class working together immediately. Work with the students to establish rules for using the platform. Have them suggest which content is appropriate when articles should be edited and if there is any consensus for an appeals process. Also set groundwork for inappropriate behavior. This project will be a lot of fun and it’s easy for students to go off track and even troll some of the pages.
- Establish an admin committee – Select a few students from each class to be administrators of the wiki. This group will govern the overall performance of the page and make decisions when a consensus cannot be reached. Be sure to give each student a chance to be on the board as it’s a great opportunity to learn decision making.
- Involve everyone – Ensure each student contributes. The more active users the more robust and useful the platform will be. You may set a periodic home-task where students report on how they took part in the project.
- Create a formatting style – Consistency is imperative to the user experience when browsing content. You may suggest the page emulate a popular citation format such as APA or MLA.
- Don’t take over the project – This is often overlooked. It’s tempting to use the class to implement your dream page but this will not only kill the student’s creative ability but also their confidence.
- Have fun – Community based projects are best fueled with passion and interest. Often classes get burnt out with routine assignments and this is a great way to have them set the direction of their learning. So keep it interesting!
Interesting Facts About Wikis
- Wikis allow you to make digital portfolios, share classroom news, publish students projects, share links and other resources, and collaborate with other schools. That’s why it’s a good idea to use wikis in your classroom.
- If you want to keep any information secret, you can save and store it by using wikis. They have personalized privacy settings, which allow you to make any data confidential. But you can also post public information, which is open for all students and other people.
- Collaboration often helps students improve their social skills and get better results. Wikis support collaboration and allow many students teams to work on projects and web pages. Teachers can track the activities of all the participants. They can also check the progress of the projects.
- Students often need a place to share learning recourses, announcements, and assignments. Wikis can help publish all that information and easily share it with teachers and other students.
- With the rising number of student projects, there’s a need to find a specific place for storing them. Wikis can be those places. They provide useful tools such as embedding or hyperlinks. It helps students share their work and explain it. It also allows teachers to read projects.
Group projects can boost interest and generate creativity easily. Follow the above tips to ensure the best results and your class will be well on their way to exploring new avenues. Just be sure to set the proper framework and allow students to take ownership and reap the rewards.