Thursday, August 31, 2006

Finding best practice Wikis in education

I am exploring best practice use of wikis, how to use them and how to use them effectively for education. As I am writing this I am also listening to the recent podcast by Steve Hargadon on K12 Open Source Webcasts: Wikis in Education, an interview with Victoria Davis and Adam Frey. Adam is the founder of wikispaces and Vicki is the Cool Cat Teacher. The interview discusses uses of wikis and the need for educators to have an open mind about using open source software and online collaborative tools in the classroom.
I am impresseed that wikispaces are providing wikis for educators that are free from advertising (pbwiki is one that I use already but the upgraded version is $5 per month).

Adam talked about the future development of wikispaces and the need to integrate multimedia and to make the publishing system/interface realtively easy to use to attract the 'less technical' more visual participants.

Vicki talked about her class wiki and outlined five uses of wikis:
  1. Summarise and synthesie the information from a lesson
  2. Collaboration of notes e.g. when studying for an exam
  3. Introducing concepts and exploring projects
  4. Sharing information with other community members
  5. Individual assessment projects
My own use of wikis so far includes classroom and personal use. My senior IT class has a wiki as a collaborative space where we are building a knowledge base and collaborating on projects based on the course they are taking called Information Technology in a Global Society. The wiki I started called Podcasting and All That Jazz was created to collate resources to do with podcasting and to become a multimedia presentation platform for my session at NECC06 recently.

I would like to mention Will Richardson's Weblogg-ed Presentation wiki as an excellent example of using a wiki to collect resources for sharing. I do not have an extensive list of other best practice wikis yet. I have started my own wikispaces wiki and will share this with you a little later as it is very raw. In contrast to pbwiki I cannot see how to subscribe to the wikispaces website. The ability to use RSS and keep track of new postings and updates on a class wiki is an essential feature I use. Is this available on wikispaces?

Technorati Tags:

1 comment:

Vicki A. Davis said...

Yes, it is available. There is a notify me tab at the top of the page that allows you to subscribe to the page or to the discussion feed. It will also allow you to subscribe over e-mail.

The feature to subscribe to the entire wiki is available under Manage Space.

You are right, RSS monitoring is ESSENTIAL! Thank you for the meaningful post.