A wiki is a commonly used tool for knowledge management and collaborative learning. However, wiki’s are not the only way to educate. Weblogs are another way in which students can share information with each other. When students are using weblogs as tools for learning, they are able to build and maintain connections with other students and teachers. They are also able to create their own personal learning path.
The ever-increasing use of digital technologies in education has caused many of us to ask the same question: is technology replacing human interaction? It’s true that technology is sometimes used to replace human interaction, but it doesn’t have to be. We now live in a time in which technology can be used to supplement the human teacher, rather than replace them. Wikis and weblogs are great cooperative learning tools in the classroom.
Leverage student interest in technology and social media by using wikis and weblogs to extend collaborative learning beyond the classroom.
Wikis and weblogs are excellent platforms for online sharing of ideas for essays, questions, answers, discussions, videos and podcasts that engage students and promote learning, leading to shared knowledge.
Wiki – Beyond Wikipedia
Wikis (meaning fast in Hawaiian) are good forums for literature circles, working groups, debates, collaborative writing, and group work. Critical thinking and writing skills are developed as students study, understand, challenge, and extend new material, and prepare for tests. While all information collected on the wiki may be inaccurate, posting inaccurate information gives teachers an opportunity to debunk myths and provide accurate information.
Create wikis for groups with topic pages with questions to explore, links to resources, graphic organizers to logically organize thoughts, uploaded documents, photos, podcasts and videos.
Weblogs for student groups
Although weblogs are primarily used to share thoughts, opinions, and experiences, they can also be used to enhance classroom discussions, share and critique written work, explore ideas, deepen understanding, and create journal entries.
By writing in a conversational tone, pupils develop a sense of community in weblogs, allowing them to share their thoughts on their assigned topics. The conversational tone reinforces the effectiveness of this technology tool in developing critical reading skills and metacognition.
User-friendly technology class
Pupils with computer literacy communicate online on social media and are familiar with creating profiles. Creating a wiki or a weblog is as easy as setting up and using Facebook and Twitter.
- Assign blog groups.
- Teachers and students create Google accounts.
- The teacher logs into the account and creates a free blog with Google Blogger.
- The teacher invites students to participate in the blog (click Settings, Who can see this blog, click Only those I choose, enter students’ email addresses, click Invite).
- Students accept the invitation to blog and create personal profiles.
- The teacher publishes writing assignments.
- Students blog, the teacher and students comment on the blogs, and students respond to the comments.
Benefits of technology in and outside the classroom
The use of wikis and weblogs eliminates one of the biggest challenges of group work – getting together outside the classroom. Students have access to computers in the classroom, library or at home and connect with other students in a distance learning community that is closed to outsiders.
In classrooms with Internet access, wikis and weblogs can be discussed in an open forum, using computers in the lab or computers and video projectors or smart boards. Other benefits include:
- Due to the convenience of social media, students find online interactions less intimidating and are often willing to explore topics and voice their opinions.
- Participants receive immediate feedback in the form of comments and responses from the instructor and other participants, and the author is given the opportunity to respond to comments.
- Exploring different perspectives, answering questions, and sharing points of view occurs in a collaborative learning environment that benefits the entire group or class.
- Informal weblog writing gives students great confidence in reading and writing blogs and commenting on the thoughts, opinions and experiences of other students.
- By sharing what they don’t understand and the strategies they use to deal with a difficult issue, students gain a deeper understanding of ideas that prompts thought and questioning.
- Students will develop their reading, writing and technology skills.
- When participants share how they apply what they have learned, it encourages others in the group to do the same.
- Wikis and weblogs demonstrate collaborative learning to peers, administrators, and parents.
Maximize the use of technology in and outside the classroom and the culture of student communication on social media. Use wikis and weblogs to create community forums where students can read, write and learn, with high levels of participation and interaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are Wikis used in the classroom?
Wikis are used in the classroom to enhance the learning process. The use of Wikis in the classroom is a collaborative learning process. The teacher guides the students through the process of creating a wiki. The teacher may also use Wikis to provide a platform for students to share their knowledge with each other. How can Wikis be used to enhance learning? Wikis can be used to enhance learning by providing a collaborative platform for students to share their knowledge with each other. Wikis can also be used to provide a platform for students to share their knowledge with the teacher.
How do you use blogs and wikis in teaching and learning?
Blogs and wikis are resources that can be used in a variety of ways in teaching and learning. Blogs and wikis can be used as a tool for students to share their thoughts and ideas with each other. They can also be used as a tool for students to share their work with their peers and teachers. Blogs and wikis can also be used as a tool for students to share their work with their peers and teachers.
How can educational technology be used in the classroom?
Educational technology can be used in the classroom in a variety of ways. One way is to use technology to enhance the learning experience. For example, educational technology can be used to create a virtual world for students to explore and learn about. Another way is to use technology to provide students with access to resources that are not otherwise available. For example, educational technology can be used to provide students with access to information about the world around them.
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