How can wikis foster collaborative learning among teachers and students?
According to the textbook, Wikis: is a word that was generated from the Hawaiian word meaning quick or rapidly, are websites that teachers and students create and edit together by reading and revising each other’s ideas and comments. Wikis got their start in the mid-90’s and have grown quit popular over the years because of the way they engage the users in the process of sharing information collaboratively.
In school wikis allow teachers and students to do the following:
- Use technology in meaningful ways in the classroom
- Collaborate with peers and colleagues
- Synthesize and explain the content they are learning through written expression and different forms of multimedia expression.
- Publish their writing and other creative or scientific work
- Receive feedback about their learning both inside and outside the classroom
The uses of wikis make for a positive collaborative learning environment for student to work together as teams to research and develop new elements to their learning. Collaborative learning experiences in school simulates that way information is developed in our society. There is never only one right answer in solving a complex question and wikis allow student work with each other to develop and solve complex social and technological problems.
- Teachers are always trying to create new learning environments for their students. Developing a wiki with their students will allow both the teacher and the students to work collaboratively in the project.
- Teachers can also us wikis to help with curriculum design and implementation.
The role of the teacher during collaborative learning is to be a facilitator and support the peer to peer collaboration.Wiki projects can be exciting for both the teacher and the students. The following suggestions can help teachers use wikis with their students.
- Decide on group processes: Teachers can introduce the project as a single student or group.
- Choose the Nature of the Wikitext: Teachers could ask each class to start a new wiki or work with a wiki that was previously written.
- Watch for Inappropriate or Plagiarized Material: Teachers must come up with clear rules as to what is considered inappropriate or plagiarized materials.
- Give grades for student work: Teacher needs to devise a rubric for the individual or group.
Wikis are being used to enhance the learning of students in most if not every classroom. Teachers are utilizing this technology to allow their students to collaborate and actively engage in their educational experience and progress. Teachers become facilitators and support their students learning instead of teaching them to a test. The students are allowed to explore their potential and learn from their mistakes. Maria Montessori believed in allowing children to develop at their own pace and encouraged them to interact with their peers to do so. This age old philosophy has become a common practice in today's educational system.
Edwards, S.A., Maloy, R.W., Verock-O'Loughlin, R.E., Woolf, B.P. Transforming Learning with New
Technology. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J. Person, 2011