Friday, July 31, 2009

Thing #16

Last semester (Spring 2009) I had my first experience using a wiki. Dr. Matthew set up a wiki for those of us in LLLS 5532 to work on throughout the semester. We used it for the purposes of discussing the YA Literature that we were reading in the course. At first I was a bit nervous. After all, there really aren't any "rules" on wikis. After a while though the class settled into a comfortable pattern of posting. The blank space provided freedom to express whatever we wanted to and include links to additionally resources that we had discovered. I found that while it was initially uncomfortable to not have any rules, in the end it was the lack of rules that made the experience meaningful.

Wikis scream collaboration. Additionally we know that students learn from one another, so the benefits of a shared learning space, such as a wiki, are unlimited. How great would it be for an entire grade level to share a wiki for each unit of study? This would allow sharing and collaboration to occur between classes. I think that students would also be intrigued to read what other classes are saying and think that teachers would be inspired by comments across the grade level. What if the grade level invited the principal to be a member of the wiki? What an easy way for the principal to be involved in the learning process.

My favorite resource on this Thing was the tutorial video designed by CommonCraft. I wish that I had seen this before working on a wiki for the first time. Every time I watch one of their videos I think "I wish I had thought of that".

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