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ADVANTAGES | | DISADVANTAGES

















A wiki is a webpage that is linked with other webpages. The wiki can be edited by anyone with access to the internet. An editor doesn't look over any of the new information, it is just saved instantly. A wiki is read like a Word Document but can also take you to other web page to help understand something better. Many wikis are free and do not take a genius to figure out.



ADVANTAGES


Wikis can be very beneficial for a teacher in this example (http://21stcenturyskillsnmteachercourse.wikispaces.com/home) the school district is using a wiki to better prepare their teachers.


I found a great source for discussing how technology enhances education. There are some interesting discussions on whether or not technology actually robs children, or students for that matter, of their youth. I loved how the author, Hamish McLean, stated that it doesn't steal that away from us but instead allows students the freedom to try their ideas as well as their personality. In essence, technology further stimulates growth in students in ways that we haven't had in the past.


Wikis are enhancers for the opportunity of the student to participate, edit or even create in the educational experience, and not just sit back and watch. It was said quite well by this high school teacher from Estancia High School, as he elaborates on how he used a wiki, he says "we started with the idea that anything that needed to be taught could probably best be learned by the students themselves, therefore (hopefully) shifting the focus of the class from the teacher to the student" (Estancia High School). After students learn, they can deepen their understanding by teaching others. Recording this teaching in a wiki can contribute to the education of future students, as shown in Student Math Movies.

Wikis are a great way for people to collaborate and work together on the same project. Individuals can work at their own pace to bring the wiki up to date by creating new posts or revising other posts. Having multiple people working on the same thing will also help keep the information more accurate. Last fall, the ITLS grad students created a wiki (https://itls-usu.wikispaces.com/) so that we could all collaborate and share what we remembered about a whole semester’s load of information. With all the resources that are out there, it is always helpful as a student to know that you only have to remember one place to access. Having everyone contribute to a central location is also extremely valuable. People in our group remembered tidbits of information that I didn’t remember or worded things in a way that made concepts much clearer.

Wiki's can be used for many purposes. Some are created to involve and teach students the importance of one subject. Others serve as "how-to" guides for adults. Many Wiki's teach people how to become more familiar with technology. One, english-9a even focuses on teaching English as a second language with games, songs, lectures and quizzes located directly on the wiki.

(http://electroniclearner.wikispaces.com/home)

(Madeline Ricks)
In Mrs. Ibrahim's 2nd grade class she used the wiki to display the work of the students and allow them access to lesson plans and extra interactive help if necessary. (mrsibrahim.wikispaces.com). This a great idea, and could be very instrumental in teaching. This would allow the students who may be struggling in class to practice and work on their own time away from the possible judgement of peers.
Resources for History Teachers is a wiki dedicated to making sure that the teachers have the tools they need to effectively teach their students. It appears to have the basics for almost every part of history. It also has a few suggested sites for more information. (resourcesforhistoryteachers.wikispaces.com). This is excellent for those crunch time lecture and activity ideas.

A very important guideline when using a Wiki is to create a sense of security among the individuals using a the Wiki. Posts will be edited and no one should get discouraged if their post is changed. http://edtechtoday.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/10-best-practices-for-using-wikis-in-education/ has several other great ideas.

Displaying students work is another use for a wiki. A great example of this is found at http://studentmathmovies.wikispaces.com/. Students create videos about different math concepts and then they are uploaded to the wiki for other students to view. Being able to create something and then display it is so beneficial for learning. Students are also able to show off other skills and abilities they have and use other knowledge they have instead of being strictly limited to one area. In this example, students are not only learning about math but they are also able to use technology with making their videos.

Wikis can also be updated constantly and are user friendly. The World Regions Project wiki (https://worldregionsproject.wikispaces.com/home) is an ongoing project for a 9th grade social studies class. They are creating resources pages of information about countries around the world. This wiki isn’t just limited to one class during one school year, it can be a continuous resources for current, future and even past students. The information is also being kept up-to-date. One interesting feature about a wiki is that is keeps track of the changes that have been made. You can access who has been making changes and when the changes have been made.

"Since wikis reside on the Internet, students can access and participate from any location, provided they have Internet access." This is a huge reason why wikis have become more useful and powerful over the last twenty years. Accessibility and the versatility of looking up a document you have been assigned and then commenting, adding, or subtracting from the conversation is really what distinguishes a wiki from any other source on the internet.
http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli7004.pdf

Wikis are very useful in any educational environment. I have seen wikis used in elementary school classrooms as well as university settings. They give students the chance to share their ideas with each other and also post any findings they have come across. The wiki http://resourcesforhistoryteachers.wikispaces.com/ shows a unique way of organizing the different discussions. This site contains a handful of different wikis for the different classes being taught by this instructor. I think this is helpful being able to see what other classes are discussing as well as your own. Wikis are also a great place to share videos to aid in the learning process. http://englishclassroombg.wikispaces.com/ is a wiki that seems to really be aiming to incorporate technology into their learning systems. The very first thing on their page is a list of their intentions and views on the matter. It seems many school districts are leaning in that same direction. I noticed on http://suavocab.wikifoundry.com/ that they have a registration form you must fill out and submit before you are allowed to add any of your ideas to the wiki. I think this is a great feature because you want to make sure your wiki is being used for educational purposes and privileges won't be abused. (Allison Whitworth)


Wikis are very significant because they can offer communication tools that are flexible and mutual for developing content specific web sites. Because wikis come from people directly adding information and material to the website, they can benefit from of variety of pedagogical needs. Students are able to participate from any location since wikis take place on the internet. Wikis can make things easier for faculty and students by allowing a flexible schedule and location. Anyone who has access to the web will be able to delete, post, modify, edit, and read content on that site. Wikis are simple to understand and comprehend, which allows students to feel confident and comfortable in accessing a site's content, which is beneficial in group editing.
http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli7004.pdf

With all of these great benefits and flexibility of wikis they seem very fitting to be used in online classrooms. Online classes are structured to benefit a student that needs a flexible schedule. Wikis are a tool that could greatly aide in the learning and structure of these classes. Another element that wikis bring to education is perspective. Wikis like this one: http://greetingsfromtheworld.wikispaces.com/ allow students to share different perspectives from all over the world. This can be truly education to see different ideas and everyday thoughts from people in different countries and parts of the world. (Jessica Peterson)

I work in a private school and we utilize wikis to post class pedagogical objectives and curriculum objectives for parents to access and students to reference in conjunction with the class syllabus. This wiki is setup to allow interaction between classmates for group projects as well as posting documents and materials including sites that augment in class instruction and contain both tutorials or content created by instructor on the school network. This wiki site also allows parents to email and or post questions in a discussion panel of the wiki.
(Joe Limas)

Using wiki's in a classroom is a completely new experience for me. I have not heard or had any wiki's to participate in. Aside from Wikipedia that is. I found an interesting wiki at the http://greetingsfromtheworld.wikispaces.com/Meet+the+Teachers website. I found this to be super interesting because it shows how students and teachers can connect, share information, and learn from places all over the WORLD! I think wiki's provide an important aspect of being human, and that is to learn and respect other cultures. Wiki's can provide that connection. It is amazing what we can share with anyone, anywhere, and almost at anytime. Wiki's are definitely part of that technology that can connect and enhance our ability to feel connect to the world and share our creativity, ideas, and insights to all varieties of people. Another awesome Wiki that I found teaching about gaming and learning! As a Nintendo nerd I found this wiki great! It can be found at http://gamesined.wikispaces.com/Science.
(Kaylie Harbrecht)

(Greg Anderson)-
Technology is only a good assistant. Next I found a wiki dedicated to the teaching of history. It included helpful links and pictures that would help students become more than they could on their own. (http://resourcesforhistoryteachers.wikispaces.com/Key+Concept+1.1) It proved that this medium could help with the teaching of history. http://cca6summer2011.wikispaces.com/ was a site built to help kids with math during summer school. Math can require more help than can be given in class. Wikis like this can help bridge the gap.

Wiki's are a way for teachers to put things online and have students interact online. It is one way for teachers to save paper and for students to learn a new way of learning. http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/07/teachers-guide-on-use-of-wikis-in.html is one website that gives a start at learning what wikis do.

Wiki's in the classrooms have many advantages for both student and teacher. Wiki's are being used to help students learn and expand their knowledge about technology in today's world. They are also a way to teach students critical key skills such as teamwork, new means of communication, proof reading and working with deadlines. Wiki's make it easy for students to review what they have already learned as well as making make up work more convenient. Students attending East Elementary can easily catch up on make up work that they missed being absent. Wiki's are a great way to stay caught up in school and enhance ones learning. (Alisa White)

KirbyNelson
There can be a lot of benefits with wiki's, especially this math one I found,
http://followmemaths.wikispaces.com/Y7-A1, that consists of math tables and consists of tons of information towards helping those in need of practice or help in the area. Another benefit is a wiki site I found towards sharing information about the technology we have today and how to use them from this site,
http://haugen.wikispaces.com/home. But as others have suggested it does allow for users to create information that seems factual but not. Another benefit list I found was a college list wiki that allows for students in need of maybe a different angle of searching for majors from
http://collegelists.pbworks.com/w/page/16119456/College%20Lists%20Wiki%20News%20and%20Information

(AaronGriffiths)
When wikis are used in classrooms it provides a great way for the students to be collaborate. Wiki's overall are pretty simple and do not require additional software to function. They provide an easy way for information to be distributed, kept up to date and corrected. The wiki found at:
http://englishclassroombg.wikispaces.com/Our+Flipped+Classroom provides many tools for those learning English. Wikis provide an easy platform for discussion as well as for file distribution.

(Hillary Jensen)
One of the upsides of a wiki is that it gives students a classroom like space for them to collaborate on assignments, and it gives the teachers a chance to see the progress of the projects. My mother teaches 9th grade English. Every year she has her students do a Shakespeare project. She created a wiki (I don't know if you're aloud to see it, but it's https://mrs-js-island-explorations.wikispaces.com/Island+Home).
outlining the steps to The Big 6 for the students to use as they put their projects together. She also created a space for her classes to work together to put a Shakespeare "magazine" together. She was able to watch their progress and see what they were coming up with. If you can't see it i'll just have to give you my word that the students put some pretty creative stuff up there and she was able to give them feedback every step of the way. I think that's important when students are working on a group project. Feedback helps give direction for things as large as class-wide projects. The students were also able to see what their peers were coming up with and help with the other pages. Wikis, in general, are a good place to bounce ideas of other people and get feedback on the things being created.


DISADVANTAGES



In its simplest form, a Wiki enables "collaborative construction" (Teaching-With-Technology). However, it's crucial that we consider the organizational structure of a Wiki. A Wiki page full of practical, useful and enlightening information will be lost and/or unappreciated if that information is provided in a way that is difficult to maneuver. When I first opened our class Wiki, I was immediately bogged down by the repetition and lack of structure (the former a likely result of the latter). (Perhaps we should have initially created "Advantages" and "Disadvantages" section headers to encourage organized information drops.) (Inspired by: Penn State: Best Practices and Permissions.) * This is an advantage of wiki's. Someone made a suggestion to organize this space into Advantages and Disadvantages, so I did it! (K. Young)

Along with the lack of structure among wikis, they are also slightly hard to navigate. If only there was a way to search for certain wikis within the site, Wikispaces.com. I found myself having to back track a lot, but that might be because I have no prior experience with wikis. (M. Arnold)

(Greg Anderson)-
As I surfed the murky waters of the Great Oracle (the internet) my board was stopped by an article by the great Katikati Primary School. (http://electroniclearner.wikispaces.com/home) It spoke of the great help and hindrance that teaching with the internet could be. Gaming has become a large and mighty force, and it has brought many more to the lands of education. Internet schools, though, can only do so much. True education is dependent on teachers who can gauge where their students are.

(Madeline Ricks)
Sometimes opinions can be made to look like factual information. What I found at electroniclearner.wikispaces.com appeared to be just that for the first few paragraphs. I began to think that it could be a genuine article about kids and technology, but as I read further I realized it was merely the opinion of the wiki creator. Information found online can be misleading in its credibility making it appear as factual information and research when in actuality it is someone's opinion.


(Madisen Wardle)
As with anything in a classroom, wikis come with both benefits and downfalls. Some of the benefits include unlimited space, simultaneous collaboration, and flexibility. However, there are several main issues, such as permanency, especially in a k-12 classroom. Students may remove content, intentionally sabotaging each other. Another common downfall is the accessibility, as many times there are firewalls and other filters that may prevent the students from being able to participate on a wiki. I found this wiki to be very interesting, and exemplify and discuss many of the benefits and downfalls: http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/home

(Aaron Griffiths)
Wikis are meant to be changed and continually updated. They provide a way for many people to collaborate on a project very simply. When used for that purpose, wikis work great. You may run into the occasional update to files that makes them incorrect. But overall it works pretty well. One thing that many schools are doing is using their wiki as the website. For example: http://knappwiki.wikispaces.com/. Wikis are a great tool but they do not offer the services that CMS systems can provide when you are setting up a website. a better way to go about it would be to set up a standard webpage that includes a wiki.

(Kathleen Young)
In a paper entitled Using wikis as a learning tool in higher education, Irina Elgort (2007) discusses the use of wiki’s in higher education. Many students may have had experience with wiki’s as a social platform, yet not for the rigors of research expected by a university teacher. She further states that using a wiki can be complicated because of a formal lack of structure. The conventions for creating a research paper in APA style are well known, and not at all the case for wikis. Decisions for how the wiki is to be designed needs to be determined at some point in the process. It is not the typical linear approach used in a written essay.

Elgort(2007) studies two classes with assignments to create wiki pages. The ultimate outcome depended largely on the initial instruction given. She felt it was important to give direction while still allowing the freedom to create. Elgort’s(2007) concluding statement was
All in all, the results show that students are able to adapt the wiki technology for academic tasks,
but that the task may impose constraints on the use of wikis, leading to some of the advantages of
the technology being lost in this adaptation. ( p. 5)

Elgort, I. (2007). Using wikis as a learning tool in higher education. Retrieved from Ascilite: http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/elgort.pdf