Despite having been a Web 2.0 active participant for a long time I feel I hadn’t got the main idea of what wikis are until I found this lovely video which offers a clear description of how they can be used for the benefit of many:
Perhaps because I have never used wikis before I confess I find it hard to think of potential uses of Wikis with my students, but what I guess makes it even more difficult is the fact that, as far as I can see, the flow of a wiki depends a great deal on an active participation from everybody in the wiki community, and to participate you need to have a very good command of the language. Wikis allow images though, and you may use voice if you provide links to sound files, but my feeling that little could be accomplished with a low command of English , the language my students are learning.
Perhaps with more advanced students it turns out an invaluable tool for the group. One of the aspects I’ve noticed is that in wikis content is above everything (layout , format, etc) – I can figure out a writing lesson with great editing possibilities in a group (and me as the coach monitoring and checking if structures and appropriacy of vocab are ok). And just thinking while typing, I wonder if –in a more teacher centred way-students may be asked to write on a wiki what they understood from a given lesson. With this the teacher will be checking understanding and the excerpts will be available to everybody for future access – interesting for those students who were absent as they will be able to catch up easily (kind of lesson “recorded” if we may call it like that).
Wikis are for the Web 2.0 world class
what a frameless board is for an ordinary classroom.
For teachers working together, however, it is a wonderful tool for consulting /sharing / brainstorming ideas .
*Wide Open Spaces –Wikis, ready or not?