I learned about Wikis for the first time when I attended this year’s SPEAQ Campus. The presenter Annie Krespil introduced this concept in one of her conferences. Basically, a Wiki is a Content Management System. The most popular one being Wikipedia. It is a collaborative website where anyone can add or modify an article. However, apart from this one site (Wikipedia) that all students seem to use as a reference in their papers, Wikis are a remarkable tool to implement in the classroom. Teachers would benefit greatly from getting to know this tool.
Here is some information to get you started!
A wiki is a simple web page. Its advantage relies in the fact that it can be edited by many users. Therefore, this allows for a constant interaction between the teacher and the students. They can be used as sources to obtain information and knowledge. Wikis can also be used to create discussions amongst its users and participants. Since it is a collaborative platform, participants learn from each other.
Why use a wiki in the classroom?
–Creates a sense of community: There are no direct leaders in a wiki. Everyone is allowed to share, edit and create within a wiki. This creates a sense of partnership and a desire for cooperation among the students in the classroom. Sure, the teacher makes sure that everything runs smoothly. However, the operation of the wiki does not solely depend on the teacher. This also helps to build up the autonomy of the students!
–Easy comments: Peers can comment other peers. Teachers can easily comment their students’s work. Teachers may also privately comment certain pieces of work (making their comment only accessible by the concerned student). Parents may also have easy access to the teacher’s comment, making them thus more aware of how their child is doing in the classroom.
–Easy access: All the work can be placed online. No more loosing of the copies. No more forgetting the homework. Everything is accessible in one place. This makes it easier for teachers to correct. It also makes it easier for students to search for their homework. Students no longer have to search among their numerous books for that one piece of paper they are looking for. They can simply go online where all their documents are together.
Wikis also have a positive influence upon:
–Student Participation and interaction: The students of today are more inclined to participate when technology is involved. ICTs are part of their interests. Students who are interested are more willing to participate in the classroom!
-Group Projects: It makes it easier for students to communicate together. All their information can be found on one place.
How to set up a Wiki?
As you can see by this video, Wikis are quite simple to set up. The hardest part is choosing with type of server you want to use! If you have any more questions on this topic, there are many articles and/or videos up on Youtube explaining all the different things you can do with a Wiki.
Furthermore, here is a step by step procedure to start your own wiki. It can be used as a good checklist when you are setting up your own Wiki!