Wikis in the classroom

Please review the resource links, then list strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the table below. Leave a space between each new SWOT item.

Resource links:

Wikipedia
Using Wikis in the Classroom
Basic Wiki Walk-Through
Examples of Educational Wikis
Webquest About Wikis
Project Ideas
Library Wiki
TeachTech K-12
Wiki Teaching Success
Teachers First
Wikibooks
Library Success
Wiki Becomes Textbook in College Classroom
Maintaining Legacy with Wikipedia (Podcast by Alan November)


Wiki Sites

Wikispaces
PBworks
Wikispace
Wetpaint




SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths:

  1. Everyone has a voice.
  2. Emphasizes teamwork.
  3. Gives students time to think and respond.
  4. Available anytime: day or night
  5. Documents can be added to or edited by anyone with permission
  6. Documents and reports can be worked on collaboratively without face-to-face meetings
  7. Allows teachers to track participation.
  8. Encourages critical thinking/organizational skills.
  9. Allows for using the internet in a positive, constructive manner.
  10. Empowers students
  11. Reinforces word processing skills
  12. Sharing information world-wide
  13. Often reflects recently updated information.
  14. Responsibility for contribution to the wiki can be shared by inviting multiple users with similar interests.

Weaknesses:

  1. Editing requires some practice.
  2. Students might want to post/edit at the same time.
  3. Ensuring that every student has proper access.
  4. How do we prevent plagiarism or copyright infringement?
  5. Could consume too much class time.
  6. Some students do not have access to the internet at home.
  7. Difficult to monitor proper editing
  8. The editing process could become all consuming for the teachers of younger students
  9. One key value of a wiki is collaboration, but it is difficult to design meaningful collaborative projects, especially beyond the classroom.
  10. There are a lot of incomplete or empty wikis out there when you search under specific topics.
  11. Usage of additional sign on passwords can become troublesome
  12. Seems better for older students that can read and write; Difficult for kindergarten
  13. Many of the wikis are set up more like a webpage. They are not taking full advantage of the collaboration feature.
  14. Older students may have freedom of inappropriate anonymity unless steps ensure otherwise.
  15. Validity of information posted cannot always be assumed.

Opportunities:

  1. Collaborate with students from other schools on topics of common interest.
  2. Collaborate and learn with other students around the world.
  3. Work can continue from home seamlessly-students don't need to go to someone else's house
  4. Extension/enhancement of technology use
  5. Develop a tool to update curriculum amongst several teachers
  6. Collaborate schedules for parents volunteering (times/dates)
  7. Teachers have an opportunity to achieve tech proficiency in order to help students or others learn to use this social networking tool.
  8. Teachers have the opportunity to learn from their students as well, through student postings.
  9. Ability to experience and maintain cutting edge technology
  10. Is a creative venue that may help motivate the reluctant learner.
  11. Efficient tool for planning and completing an extensive, time-consuming project;
  12. Sharing ideas with others in your field is rewarding at both ends
  13. Provides opportunities for students to discern the importance of questioning web content
  14. Wikis are great for teacher collaboration.


Threats:

  1. Anyone can change content unless proper security settings are in place.
  2. Discussions of editing etiquette needed.
  3. Need to make sure students are protected to the level of the parent request (ie. publications permission sheet)
  4. This type of teaching format may be expected of all teachers.
  5. Could my information be tracked down by others who could send me viruses, etc

IDEAS FOR THE CLASSROOM

  • Build a story by having each student add to the existing story line.
  • Build a wiki about the seven continents. After reviewing, each continent ask students to post two facts about what they have learned.
  • For a grammar lesson, have the students edit a paragraph inserting all punctuation and capitalization.
  • For any Middle or Upper Division written project, this is a great place for students to save and collaborate on work.
  • Continuous updating of curriculum and lesson plans.
  • Sharing ideas between grade levels and divisions.
  • K-1: Create an animal alphabet wiki
  • Elementary grades create a spelling wiki that could become a virtual word wall.
  • Create a classroom Wiki to communicate with parents and teachers. A teacher can use a Wiki to list homework assignments, grades, lessons. class pictures, class news letters, etc. The teacher can also create a classroom wiki for students to write daily reflection and attach links for the classroom blog. (M. Fernandez, 2/15/09)
  • For a science research project, have students create a wiki to collaboratively outline the steps of the scientific method.
  • Book Club for intermediate students. The teacher can use their own class or create a Book Club afterschool and include any interested students and teachers.
  • Resource for Reading teachers - Each reading standard can have its own page where teachers can add ideas, strategies, articles, websites, etc. that address the reading skills.

Links to Examples