Reflection: Using a Wiki, how to use as a teacher

This week’s reflection in EDT 5410 is based upon the Tim O’Reilly’s article titled “What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software“.

I think Wiki’s are an interesting technology. They are versatile in that they can be used for distribution and collection of knowledge — which we have seen in with In addition to being used as a repository or dynamic encyclopedia, a wiki can serve as a collaborative tool for group work, projects, and collaborative team development. On campus, a few members of the web users group are prototyping how they think a wiki could be used to archive past technology solutions (e.g. how to link in a video, how does css work, what are the university colors in hex), while other departments are thinking about how they can use a wiki to develop their departmental web site — the later group intends to conduct ongoing presentations and conversations as well as design prototypes and examples within the wiki. It is very interesting to watch these technologies be adapted in both similar and different ways for a variety of purposes.

For instruction, other than building technical literacy, I am on the fence about the usefulness of a Wiki for instruction. Someday they could serve as a replacement for textbooks?

I like having individual development, learning portfolios, projects etc, on blogs — the format works for me: you can post, think, share, and have comments going on. Forums are nice for community chatter and requests for support. In the end I like wiki’s as a place to put what the finished work or solution was.

So for me:

  • Blogs: personal, work-in-progress, historical look back at personal development (it’s my notebook)
  • Forums: everybody blabbing about stuff, or asking for help and exploring solutions (the classroom, lounge, computer club)
  • Wikis: the rock that we chissel in the final word/answer/solution — with the ability to make corrections if needed (also nice for historical reference or use) (the textbook)

Simplified further

  • Blogs are a personal notebook (mine)
  • Forums are the classroom (gathering place)
  • Wikis are a freakin’ huge textbook (agreed upon knowledge)

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