A wiki is essentially a collaborative website. Wikis can be private in-house sites meant to serve a limited number of editors, or wide-open public sites where almost anyone can contribute. Students, teachers, and even parents could collaborate to gather, edit, and present information on a wiki. For instance, a wiki could be used to build a a list of historical definitions and class notes that constitute a study guide.
By using a wiki, some exciting opportunities unfold for classroom teachers in terms of their ability to collaborate with students.
- Students, teachers, and even parents could collaborate to gather, edit, and present information on a wiki.
- A wiki could be used to build a classroom dictionary of terms in a subject area. For example, students could build a list of historical or literary definitions for a course.
- Students could also use a wiki as a class notes page that serves as a study guide for tests. Each student could contribute a set of notes and add comments to existing notes.
- Another idea is to break kids up into small groups for a project or activity and have them paste their work on a wiki. One could then invite other student groups to comment.
- Wikis could also be used to enhance professional collaboration. For example, teachers in a department or district could build a curriculum unit together or simply post their lessons and assignments.
- A teacher could post words for students to expand into definitions.
- Students could research new topics and contribute their findings.
- A wiki could be used as a portfolio showing development of a project.
- Teachers could develop and edit curricula.
In the video below, Tom gives an example of how he used a wiki with his ninth grade students when studying Henry IV. He used Wikispaces. The students were able to contribute content – text, images, video, and audio to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the reading and to build on their collective knowledge.
For more examples of how to use wikis with students, visit the our Teaching History with Technology website.