Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lessons learned from wiki lessons...

Using the Knowledge Garden as a good and bad learning experience has made me think of ways to use wikis in my classroom.

One idea I used recently was to get Group A students to research a topic and create a wiki page. Group B students then read the page and asked some questions and made comments on the page.

Rather than the facilitator generating the questions and calling for comments, the collaborators did.

Students often have to do research of their own to come up with the questions and comments. Group B (C and D) students were also busy creating pages in the same wiki and going through the same process.

I find it takes a lot more scaffolding at first, and probably has different learning outcomes to my own experience, but the students are motivated by the technology. Its a great way to teach collaboration, critical thinking skills, reading and writing for understanding, etc...

2 comments:

Nicole Long said...

Hi Kate,

Your experiment with wikis sounds really interesting. I'm doing a collaborative wiki with my co-workers for my assignment 2 project so I was wondering if you had trouble keeping your students within a certain structure. My co-workers have completely diverse ideas of how to format their information even with examples to look at. How did you manage this with your classes?

Nicole

Kate said...

Hi Nicole,

The problem you have mentioned is certainly true, it is difficult to keep the structure as we would normally expect it. But as Richardson states ""the more autonomy that teachers give to students in terms of negotiating the scope and quality of the content they are creating, the better". Part of the learning experience is how to develop collaborative skills, negotiating with others to agree on relevance of content, style and format. I would say, stand back if possible and let it be messy and unstructed as possible!

Richardson, W. (2006) Blogs, potcasts and other powerful web tools for classrooms. Corwin Press.