Several months ago I heard some of my friends at other schools discussing wikis. I went on wikispaces and even attempted to wiki. The bad news is that I quickly gave up because I could not figure out how to make it work or happen for me. So that was that. Then several weeks ago, in one of my classes (maybe this one) a sweet little video called Wikis in Plain English was introduced to me. After watching it once, I knew I had to try to wiki again.
To my surprise, creating a wiki through pbworks.com was SO easy! Within minutes, I had a very basic wiki created and ready to go for immediate use in my classroom. To test drive it, I assigned my students generic usernames (a benefit of pbworks for teachers and students without email addresses). They went home, logged in and took off running on my wiki. Who knew? Now they regularly request to wiki, and I have to say that it's not only much easier to engage them, but I enjoy reading their posts as well.
TO define the role of a wiki in the classroom from my perspective, it's the WWW method, also known as the Whatever, Whenever, or Wherever that is missing from traditional teaching. Both my students and myself can log in and work cooperatively using the WWW method on a given topic from a classroom discussion, to book reports. The opportunities for wikifying your classroom are endless.
Today, I'm not only converted from my earlier thinking about wiki's, I'm now a user and creator amongst my faculty at my school. From sharing lesson plan ideas to implementing a new form of technology integration that is free, I'm glad to be able to share a new and painless tool at my school.
To check out my current wiki projects check out the following wikis that I have created:
Have a great Wiki-end!
Want to watch the video that changed me forever? Watch this: