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What are Wikis?Wikis are a collaborative online tool. They are a living organism that is continually growing and changing by the community of readers, writers and learners. Most wikis allow for editing or creating new pages. They track changes so that users can see all revisions made to a document. People who contribute to a wiki must understand and accept that their words may be edited or even possibly deleted. Power and authority is given to the community rather than an individual writer. Wiki authors do not claim ownership of the text. Anyone can go back later and see previous versions in the history.
Wiki is Hawaiin for wiki-wiki which means “quick. It began in 1995 by Ward Cunningham who wanted to develop an easy authoring tool that would help people to publish on the web.
Classroom PedagogyWiki is a collaborative environment where students learn much about how to work with others, how to create, communicate and how to work in a world where the creation of knowledge and information is more and more becoming a group effort. They can also be used to facilitate the dissemination of information, to enable the exchange of ideas and to facilitate group interaction.
The more autonomy teachers give students the better but a teacher must be willing to do this. It means students begin to teach each other and the teacher becomes a facilitator.
Students learn to publish content, develop and use collaborative skills, negotiating to agree on correctness meaning relevance, and more.
First see if something is already written, read critically to find the areas where information is missing or disorganized. Must take it on as your own because you have the ability to edit and make it better. This is a hugh shift
Give students editorial control, Have the whole class monitor the content gives students ownership and responsibility
Reliability of Wiki informationHow can the information in a Wiki be trusted? There are more editors that want to make it right than there are those who want to make it wrong. When things go wrong, the collaborative effort of the group make it right. “Soft security” seems to work best.
Wikis, especially Wikipedia has come under fire for it’s reliability of information, These articles review the discussions.
Educators need to be aware that students tend to use Wikipedia as a resource. Therefore, we can’t ignore it or just block the site. They will use it at home.. It is a stronger message that Information Literacy is part of what we need to teach students about where they get their information and how to test it for reliability. Students need to have more than one resource to support their thesis.