Wiki Sites and Education
“A wiki is a website that provides collaborative modification of its content and structure directly from the web browser.” - Wikipedia
So Wikipedia might not be the best example for how wiki sites can be used in a purely educational setting, after-all, no-one but the expert is exactly sure if what is written is accurate. I am sure the people in the quality control department have their work set out for them, but we can always get a reference with more peered foundation from encyclopedia.com.
But that's not the point here. Wiki sites like w'pedia have so much to offer, that the most well known version of one perhaps leads us astray slightly. The concept is sound, and especially for education, the collaboration element is truly ground breaking when it comes to delivering education.
With a typical file and folder system, we know how to create groups of documents and media as in on the desktop. We can place items in specific groups called folders and then everything is in the right place, this keeps everything organised. Wiki sites do this same job but on a website that can be accessed and changed by anyone who has permission.
For teachers and educators, especially ones who work to the same curriculum across the country, this presents a massive advantage. Imagine how much collaboration could be done across a wiki site in order to make lessons more fun and rich with questions. Think how helpful it would be for students with homework assignments to find that they have a place where everyone who is doing the work is able to go and collaborate. School plus, perhaps it may need moderation to some degree if student led, however the possibilities extend much further than study groups.
Teachers can use their resources to produce private class based educational journeys through many set out and expertly designed pages and media that teach and inspire them as they go. Because it is online, the work can be done at any time, with any teacher at the desk. Back up lessons for sickness didn't do any harm either.
Student presentations and portfolios would make an excellent resource for future classes, as well as having a simple place for examiners to go in order to review the coursework uploaded. Once a few terms have rolled by and the wiki site has been worked on over time, by classes around the land, it is easy to imagine how variable and interesting the core network of educational material could become. With a co-ordinated effort from teaching staff and computer staff with various know-how within the school system, it wouldn't take long at all to create an amazing interactive and fully customisable educational resource that would technically stand free for all invited.
Once established and running well, these pages would make excellent packages to allow others to use, perhaps for charitable or national interests. An archive of education and learning set out in this way which is continually added to by employed professionals could in time become one of the most useful and empowering additions to human culture in the 21st Century. From nursery age to post graduate doctorates, the entire syllabus of everything could reach the internet within a few years, if everyone did their bit.
It's easy to get a free site for a classroom or community, with opportunity to have many editors across any distance,
Where Weebly do it all for you, 1&1 give the option of letting you do everything your own way. I am guessing many schools have eager computer staff who would just love that level of control.
Rowan Blair Colver for Alternative Fruit
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