Wikis and Blogs

How will Wikis and Blogs be used to support teaching and learning in the classroom?

To answer that question, let me first define wiki and blog. The basic difference is that wikis are for facts and research while blogs are usually used for opinions, reporting news, insights, informational articles, selling items, and more.

What are Wikis and how can they be used to support teaching and learning in the classroom?

Wiki is the Hawaiian word wiki-wiki that has been shortened; it means quick or super fast. According to Will Richardson (2006), “a wiki is a collaborative Webspace where everyone can add content and anyone can edit content that has already been published” (p. 8). This collaborative spaces allows students to work together on projects while not necessarily sitting next to each other. The group members may be participating from home, school, library, in another state, or anywhere they can access the Internet. Wikis have four layers or pages (i.e., information page, discussion page, history page, and notify me page). For example, the information can be used by the teacher to describe and create a project for students including slideshows, images, videos, and audio. The discussion page allows students to collaborate on the assigned project. The history page is the history of each members participation and what was contributed to the project by each member. The notify me page allows updates to be feed in a RSS reader so that teachers keep current on the latest posts by students.

What are Blogs and how can they be used to support teaching and learning in the classroom?

As you explore the Internet for Blogs, you will find that Blogs are created for many purposes. Many times blogs are thoughts and opinions on topics of interests, informational articles about upcoming events, personal experiences, vacation stories, storytelling, sharing of photos and videos, success stories, notes from conferences, updates on school events, and more.

For the classroom, blogs can be a form of journaling, writing stories, novels, experiences, notes, news from around the school, keeping a diary, and more. For an example, visit Adora Svitak at http://www.adorasvitak.com/Blog.html

References

Richardson, W. (2006). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful Web tools for classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

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