Thursday, September 06, 2007

    WIKIs in the classroom

    I am ambivalent about the use of WIKIs in general. Don't get me wrong, I think that they are useful (see my query about a Grace Slick song here), but to be used in the classroom seems to be an exercise in busywork.

    WIKIs work by employing those with knowledge and time. It also appeals to a certain strata (who I am glad are around, but I am just not one).

    Now, if I force my Freshmen to go to a WIKI to compile a set of collective knowledge about something, I will get some interesting results, but I wonder about the utility. Will a classroom be a large enough pool to gather "expertise"?--without which the whole endeavor, from the student's point of view and my own, seems to be only mildy interesting.

    Would I create a grammar WIKI? God no! Horrible, horrible idea. A style WIKI? One shade up from the pit of Hell...

    I see no real use.

    BUT, if you do know of a use, please let the fellow below know. He works for WetPaint, a free WIKI hosting service, and he is interested.
    My name is Michael Bolognino and I'm writing to you from Wetpaint Central in Seattle.

    I'm working on building out a dedicated area at to help guide educators through the benefits of creating wikis in the classroom, and I'd love to get your input.

    If you are an educator, please take 3 minutes to answer a few questions about using wikis in Education. If you are not an educator, please disregard this email.

    Cheers, Michael

    Michael Bolognino
    Community Manager

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    Anonymous CM said...

    I'm with you on this. I want to use wikis to have students construct together, but so far have not used them for this purpose. However, to quickly collate notes together and make them available for everyone, I do find wikis to be super-easy web-page builders. Then again, so is Blackboard, but I hate Blackboard. I have used wikis also to post lists of topics, and have students self-select or generally to provide a space that can be used by students. Is this the intended purpose of wikis, originally? No. It is using them for their most beneficial possible purpose? Maybe not. But it makes the sharing of resources super easy, so I am willing to live with it.

    Thursday, September 06, 2007  
    Blogger Piss Poor Prof said...

    I like the idea of using the wiki "space" to collect/collate resources.

    I think, though, you could also do this with a blog if each student has authoring access...

    Class blogs are another issue I will tackle coming up.

    Friday, September 07, 2007  

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