Wikis in the Classroom

I am stealing this directly from Chapter 5 of Julie Ramsay’s book (page 87 to be exact), but I think it is just a perfect example of how flexible and versatile technology in the classroom can be:

“Wikis are an extremely versatile tool to implement, regardless of age group or content area, because students can be in the same physical classroom or on the other side of the world working and writing collaboratively. Here are a few other suggested applications for wikis:

  • In a math class, students can create problems and have other students respond with a written solution.
  • Students can collaborate on a class constitution or create project guidelines.
  • Students can maintain a class, schoolwide, or district wiki newsletter.
  • Students can brainstorm ideas to solve social, ecological, or cultural challenges in their communities and debate the advantages or disadvantages of various solutions.
  • Students can submit portfolios of their work, which are open to feedback from their peers.
  • Students can discuss literature, similar to a book chat or literature circle. The prompts can be student driven or teacher driven, depending on the age, content, or ability level of the learners.
  • Students can submit journal entries for a historical figure or time period, which requires them to think from another point of view.
  • Students can submit lab reports, observations, and conclusions based on hands-on experiences and research about a scientific principle.
  • Students can compose a cross-curriculum journal of varied modes of writing based on a central theme, idea, or concept.”

I love this list because it truly provides ways to use technology for differentiated instruction, different interest groups, different age and ability levels, and different ways to creatively address standards. I also feel like these are great ideas for teachers who may not be as strong in a subject area that they are required to teach. For example, they can first use wikis to do more research on a unit topic. Then, they can also use wikis with their class as a means of assessment or discovery. I know that when I have worked with Wikis in the past as a student, they have been effective tools!

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