May 12, 2014

Using Wikis for Teaching and Learning

The wiki is a tool that is useful for teaching, learning, and management in the classroom and personally. I am selecting resources to add to my current materials in an upcoming summer workshop (see last week's post) to help the workshop participants understand the value and benefits of using wikis.
Looking at the Wiki / Kathy Cassidy / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
I have used several wiki platforms (Wikispaces, PBwiki/PBworks, WetPaint, and Google Sites) in the classroom and personally. My students have contributed to my wikis and created their own. We have used wikis to collaborate, to organize, and to create.

I searched for appropriate resources in my Delicious account, my educational sandbox (a customized search engine for a select set of blogs... see How Do You Search for Information on a Topic?), LiveBinders, Pinterest,!, Twitter, YouTube, and on the web. At this point I have developed a list of resources that should be useful in four areas:
  • introduction to wikis
  • interesting wiki sites
  • wiki platforms / vendors and
  • resources for educators.


Introduction to Wikis
Obligatory Wiki Photo / Alan Levine / CC BY-SA 2.0

    • Teaching Students about Wikis with a Wiki Sandbox Project... introduction to wikis for students... includes sandbox assignment, video, and other resources... use this to guide you (the teacher) as you create your own lesson because it uses an older version of the wiki software


Interesting Wiki Sites
Representing WikiHow / Dvortygirl / CC BY 2.0

    • Wikia: Create. Collaborate. Be Original.… a network of games, entertainment, and lifestyle content… a collaborative publishing platform… more than 370,000 wikias (as of 5/11/2014)
    • Wiki How (to do anything)… a collection of how-to guides… step-by-step instructions… a collaborative effort… more than 170,000 how-to articles (as of 5/11/2014)… volunteer recent changes patrollers quickly revert poor edits
    • Wiktionary, the free dictionary… a collaborative project… goal is to “describe all words of all languages using definitions and descriptions in English”… includes a thesaurus, a rhyme guide, phrase books, language statistics, and appendices… Wiktionaries are available in other languages


Wiki Platforms / Vendors
Google Sites / AJ Cann / CC BY-SA 2.0

Wiki Platform Comparisons

    • WikiMatrix… provides access to more than 140 wikis… some or all wikis can be compared based on features… matrices are also available for forums, podcatchers, and weblogs


    • Wikispaces and Wikispaces Classroom… wiki and social writing platform for education…. use for classroom management and project-based learning… pricing varies from free to $$$ and number of wikis varies from 1 to unlimited

Google Sites


Resources for Educators
"wiki was very good" / fin5bjh / CC BY 2.0

These sites should help facilitate some interesting and useful discussions. How do you help other educators discover the benefits of using wikis?

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