Thing9–wikis

The first wiki I would like to talk about is Vicki Davis’ Cool Cat Teacher. I like her wiki because it is basically a bunch of links to conferences and articles she has presented. It also has a lot of information about Flat Classroom which is very interesting to me. Under her RSS instructions she has great links like this one How to create your circle of the wise
which gives advice on how to pick your feeds and lists her own personal feeds. The negative of her wiki is that her navigation tools by subject area did not work or were just empty???

Another wiki I like is etoolbox It is full of resources and links. The navigation tools to subjects on this page work! It explains many Web 2.0 applications and gives video demos, example sites, and more. It also shows how to use specific software like Garage Band and Pixie.

The wiki that I am most familiar with of course is Wikipedia. I love to use Wikipedia personally and have not discouraged students from using it either. It is a great source of information especially about current events or pop culture. I have not come across inaccuracies in it though I know that they exist. I think people overemphasis that it is not 100% accurate. Encyclopedias and textbooks are not always accurate either but they have been used for years. I think the multitude of users helps Wikipediato self-monitor “its facts.” In my experience most students just google what they are looking for and assume they have the “truth” no matter what website they land on. Rather than discourage its use I think a better method is to teach students to be critical readers and thinkers no matter the source. I would like to hear other’s opinions on Wikipedia and student’s use of it.

My first thought on wikis is that maybe I can use them to blog and have students blog and get around the district’s annoying filter!

My class is very project based so I also might have students create a wiki of resources on topics such as pop bottle rockets, balsa towers, and hot air balloons. I could start each class with a KWL on the topic and then have them research what they want to know and create a wiki with the results and links.

For the landscaping class that I will team teach with the art teacher, students could create a wiki of design ideas and resources.

One thought on “Thing9–wikis

  1. Kim Blunt

    I agree with you about Wikipedia, I often link to it for some of the student projects. I also take every opportunity to get the students to evaluate any source they use, use more than one source and be suspicious when the information doesn’t seem plausible. Evaluation of resources is very important for the students.

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