When I started creating my first ever wiki I was hesitant about the answers to the wiki questions, especially since I didn’t know a thing about wikis. After signing in and looking around, I decided it would be good to see how others had set up their wikis and what they were using them for. I looked at my colleague’s wikis and again, I decided the best way to tackle the task of creating my wiki was to watch and listen to all the parts of the “tour”. This was a great step-by-step guide to learning about creating a wiki and some of their functions. Building a wiki for ICTs has been very engaging for me. I have interacted with others in my course, via the discussion forums and face-to-face, and can see the benefits of using wikis with my students. I have found I need to be “meaningfully engaged in learning activities through interaction with others and worthwhile tasks” as Kearsley & Shneiderman (1999) stated in their Engagement Theory. This is based on three components known as “Relate, Create, Donate”. I can see wikis will be a good platform for student collaboration in the classroom when they are team planning and communicating on projects. They would create a wiki, resulting in them having control of their learning, and finally they could make this available to “friends”, teachers etc so they could use it outside of the classroom.
Wikis could be used as a place where I could display references for my students- links to journals, websites, videos etc. Some of the benefits of using wikis are:
1. They provide active learning for students (using ICTs)
2. Good for communication with others
3. Create a community of practice (Wenger 2006)- wikis are a great place for central communication
4. A place for parental communication for teachers and parents who have children on an Individual Education Program (IEP)
The process of creating a WIKI, for me, has been a form of “engaged learning”. I have used my cognitive processes for this task and it has also required me to be “motivated to learn due to the meaningful nature of the learning environment and activities” Kearsley and Schneiderman (1999).
Kearsley,G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm
Wenger,E (2006) Communities of practice a brief introduction