Advanced Wikis


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Session Icebreaker: Wallwisher Activity
Educational Benefits
  • Students have ownership of the knowledge. They actively seek it, and they create it.
  • Students are given the responsibility to look after a publication with a global audience. It's not just their teacher reading their work.
  • High-level critical thinking is developed as students critique others' contributions for accuracy.
  • Increased information literacy skills are required as students check their facts for accuracy and correct errors discovered by their peers.
  • Create an online text for your curriculum that you and your students can contribute to.
  • Engage in collaborative projects with other classrooms and other schools.
  • Create collaborative stories and books.

Classroom Applications

  • Discussion Boards ~ Post a video, a picture, a question, a reading assignment, a web link, etc. then have students participate in a discussion thread. You can easily monitor who participates and how often.
  • Publication Opportunities ~ Students can create their own pages, customize them with pictures and graphics, then publish their work for private or public viewing. Wikis have been referred to as a "safe" myspace, so students love it!
  • Group Collaboration ~ A wiki can give students the opportunity to work on a group document from home and in class. You can easily monitor who contributes and watch the project take shape.
  • Online Literary Circles ~ As with discussion boards and group collaboration, this is a great way to facilitate a discussion about a novel from home.
  • Peer Revision ~ Students can post drafts of written work, comment, edit, revise and respond via discussion board.
  • Electronic Portfolios ~ Create a class homepage and a page for every student in the class to upload their written assignments. Combine this with all of these activities and students can create, collect and maintain quite a portfolio to show learning and progress throughout the school year.
  • Projects ~ Have students create a wiki for a class project at the end of a unit. For example, students could create a wiki page of a famous author or character in a book (similar to a "myspace" format).
  • Research ~ What a refreshing twist to the traditional research "paper"! Students can now create their own website on virtually any topic imaginable.
  • And much, much more ~ With your creativity, the sky's the limit!


Real-World Wikis




Functional Features

  • Creating new pages
  • Wiki links
  • Inserting images and files
  • Working with the navigation bar
  • Adding student users
  • Using the Discussion Board component

"Tricking Out" Your Wiki


Some teachers enjoy modifying the look of their wikis by embedding various gadgets (i.e. ClustrMaps and Feedjit) and Web 2.0 tools such as Glogster and Voki to create attractive and interactive customized home pages. Be sure to check out the glog I created for my wikispace home page! :-)

In addition, there are various other applications on the web that allow you to customize your wiki. A few include:

Headlines
Glitter Text Generator - http://www.sparklee.com




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Widgets/Gadgets

Dynamic and interactive mini-applications and Web 2.o tools that can be embedded into wikis/websites, blogs, wikis, Nings, etc.

Examples:
























































But wait! There's more...

Like these widgets? Then be sure to check out the Assorted Widgets page for the most comprehensive list of widgets on the web news, presentations, books, maps and so much more!

RSS Feeds

An RSS feed (really simple syndication) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS feed to whoever would like to receive it. RSS feeds allow individuals who regularly use the web to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites one visits regularly. Subscribing to an RSS feed saves time as one does not need to visit each site individually. In addition, privacy is ensured through the use of RSS feeds since there is no need to join each site's email newsletter.

Examples:

[[rss url="http://www.freetech4teachers.com/" link="true" description="true" number="3"]]

[[rss url="http://feeds.nytimes.com/nyt/rss/HomePage" link="true" description="true" number="3"]]

Additional Resources