Integrating elearning techniques using wikis
Kids today are highly interested to learn and understand a number of different things and the one resource they turn to for answers inevitably is Google and Wikipedia. Despite repeated efforts and measures to persuade these kids to look and learn from other alternative sources, children are still so hung up on trading books for eBooks. The pleasures of enjoying a simple book, a handwritten note or a letter that is lovingly penned are from an era that has passed us by. With so many changes, teachers are looking at ways to penetrate this expansive network that dominates every Childs world. Considering how Wikipedia has become an all important resource teachers are looking at using this as an educational tool. There are many different things that a teacher must look at when considering using a wiki. There is the matter of technical skills and internet usage which raises questions of safety online as well.
If you have decided to get kids to do research or homework test assignments based on wikis then you need to figure out certain important particulars first. Check if your school allows use of internet technology and safety measures.
Once you have sorted out the school’s stand on wiki, you may then assign login profiles to students and ensure that no personal details are made available on this network. In addition also track their pen names and check that they are using the resource in the right manner.
Check access levels you wish to grant to the students on wiki. Do you wish to allow them to write, to modify content or design. Ideally you could make sure that as teacher you are the only one with complete and full access to all functions.
All courses may not be ideal for a wiki platform. It is better to make use of this for those courses wherein there is research and writing involved such as history or English. Pick courses which emphasize research skills and writing proficiency.
Wiki’s work well if you want to have collaborative learning, it can also be used to demonstrate and discuss internet safety, sex education, codes of conduct, debates on school rules and more. It is a good way to encourage team play and collaborative efforts in students in the classroom. You can also designate students at the end of each class to summarize and submit wiki pages of a class discussion or lecture from one class to the next.