Techie Tuesday: Wiki Anyone?

Most teachers and students have heard of Wikipedia, some in controversial circles.  But have you actually taken a look at wikis from an educational perspective?

Close to the same time Web 2.0 was coined, Wikipedia was blossoming into the current 2.5 million articles.  What made this encyclopedia different than any other?  The ability for everyone to collaborate in building it!

How could you use a wiki in your classroom?  Let’s start from the beginning.  What is a Wiki? Basically a wiki is a website that uses wiki software.  This software allows you to edit pages in real time.  Wikis are used in a variety of collaborative tools.  For this post we will focus on uses in a classroom.

You can limit wiki membership, so only your students are allowed to add and edit information.  You can also open membership to other classrooms for collaboration.  Wiki’s are for the geeky and challenged techie alike.  If you can type in Word, you can have a wiki.

There are so many uses of wikis in the classroom.  What better place to cover wiki information than the collaborative education queen, Vicki Davis aka @coolcatteacher (see below).

One of my favorite ways to use a wiki in the classroom in as a collaborative “binder”.  Previously I referred to this as a notebook, but it is so much more.  Each student has an account and instead of keeping a notebook, they are required to add to the class wiki on a weekly bases.  Each unit has a page, but today they started asking to add additional information such as “Welcome to the Classroom” to help students that enter after school starts, email directions, etc.

It will be interesting to see the changes over the next few weeks.

Here are a few more ideas for wikis in the classroom:

  • Class Website
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Research Paper
  • Student (or teacher) portfolios
  • Project

What is your favorite classroom wiki idea?

Blogs and Wikis

We began using a class wiki this semester after testing out a few.  We finally settled on a Mindtouch wiki at The students had a great time changing each others paragraphs, but they are doing good.  We are up to three pages and that doesn’t even count our wiki homepage:)

I wish I could keep everyone for next semester!  It is going to be great using a blog and wiki all semester and especially having student blogs.  We have decided that the best way to implement them is to post a journal topic and the student respond on their own blog.  I saw this on another class blog and it seemed to work well.  Sorry but I can’t remember the class site.  The students definitely don’t like using the discussion board because of the need to scroll past all the previous posts as well as all posts being mixed together.

Hopefully there will be another student blogging competition next semester:)