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?
The pic above belongs to the Flickr images that I decided to use to try ideas with this tool.
This is how I used it to enhance interaction with colleagues/contacts from the EVO 2008
Another idea could be the teaching of some grammar points: Let’s consider, for instance, the “Present Perfect”:
1st Look at this image:
2nd And now look at this pic:
Lastly, present this sentence:
Somebody has organized the bookshelf. It’s neat now.
It could serve as an excellent springboard for oral debates.
Imagine a conversation class starting with teacher asking students on first things coming to their minds at seeing this image
Good chance to show some bits of culture and traditions. It is always important to provide the cultural/social contexts of the native speakers of the language students are learning. It’s another way of opening up their minds I think.
Will they get surprised at knowing that “cream tea” is typical in the English Summer especially?
Nice opportunity to teach “clotted cream”, “scones”, “jam” , “teapot”, etc.
(Click on those objects here)
Please look at the pic below and speculate using modal verbs:
1. Is the girl alone?
2. Who do you think is she talking to?
3. Could she be talking to a flower / person /an animal?
4. Are there more kids / adults/ flowers / animals around?
Please leave your answers / speculations on the comment box from Flickr linked here:
If you have some comments related to the activity write your views on the comment box from this post.
The task needs interaction and, I will show the original pic in about 2 days. That will give plenty of time for some SMiELT participants to “play” and help me experiment a little bit to draw conclusions afterwards.
Many thanks in advance for your help. I will be looking forward to your writing bits.
Updated on 2/2
This is the original pic ( Great guessing Nancy !;)