“A wiki is a Web page that can be viewed and modified by any- body with a Web browser and access to the Internet. This means that any visitor to the wiki can change its content if they desire. While the potential for mischief exists, wikis can be surprisingly robust, open-ended, collaborative group sites.”
- What experiences have you had with wikis?
My experience with wikis is very minimal. I do not know much about them, although I have used Wikipedia for a number of searches and relevant information on certain topics. This would be the extent of my familiarity with wikis. Other than utilizing them as a search engine on occasion, I have already learned so much from the videos and assigned readings regarding the “how to” on creating and editing such tools.
- What potential uses do you see for wikis in today’s classrooms?
In today’s classroom, I could foresee the usage of wikis being enticing because of their simplicity and collaborative learning style. With the direct and immediate access to knowledge and information, students will thrive on the other side of how information is gathered and modified over time. With the usage of links, photographs, videos and other rich media included in the text-based content, students will be able to navigate and grasp a deeper understanding all from one area. Perhaps the most attractive facet of wikis in the classroom would be to edit and curate the information over time. I could see this being used more in the high school age range and would be a great opportunity for them to dive into the realm of collaborative learning.
- What do you think would be the advantages/disadvantages of using wikis with students?
Just as every idea has its advantages and disadvantages, wikis have several positive attributes as well as some down sides. Advantages of this tool would be to help students to collaborate on topics and enforce their level of interpretation on a topic. They could be both helpful and dangerous in that their information is always changing and being updated. Because of this, some information may be questionable in its reliability. However, with students creating their own wikis, they would be able to edit and modify text/pictures into a document that flows naturally as one voice. Although the final product of a wiki should appear to be one voice, they are written by many. Therefore, both an advantage and disadvantage is that the point of view is always collective. Furthermore, the perspective on and purpose behind using wikis with students could be biased. I would advise against using them as reliable sources but think it is a fascinating tool to help students develop and cultivate their thoughts over time in a group setting.