On the Yahoo Groups list for classblogmeister Lorraine from New Zealand shares her reflection templates to use in blogging. She was inspired by reading Konrad’s post and has created a post/article reflection and a comment reflection. Her link led me to a great wiki that contains excellent info on their collaborative learning community. I really like this wiki. Thanks Lorraine for taking the time to share! Keep up the great work! And as you know, one link leads to another – here’s her blog. It’s a good read, too! One post was about the danger of embedded links. Look at the comments to see how our community responds! Here’s her follow up post on this issue. And of course I have always been a fan of SlideShare. Look how they address the dilemma here. I second Lorraine’s “thumbs up” to SlideShare.
On a previous post Lynn made a comment asking for help for a staff development piece on wikis. I pointed her to PB Wiki. Anyone have other suggestions for Lynn?
encyclopedia up now – how does the entry on WWI address the war? How
does it explain the hows and whys? I’ll tell you how – it uses the
(then current) academic consensus. Is that “correct” in any abstract
sense? Who knows? It might be – or it might not be. The reality is,
even WWI is still too controversial for there to be a reliable
“consensus” view. Which means that the entry – whether it’s in printed
copy or bits – is just going to be some compromise view.
Exactly how does that differ for Wikipedia and any other work? It doesn’t.
The reality is, having “anyone” be able to edit doesn’t mean that
“everyone” will. Most people don’t care deeply about any particular
subject – the ones with an interest (and, of course, the vandals) will
be the ones who show up. With the printed encyclopedia, anyone who’s
views fall outside the current academic consensus will just get cut out
immediately. With Wikipedia, they have a chance to get their take peer
reviewed and commented on.
Which leads me to the opposite view from Winer, and Ryan, and most other people – I’ll take the Wikipedia approach over the standard. It’s far more likely to allow a larger set of views fight it out.
more views, the more to think about, and the more to help you draw your
own conclusions. As one commenter said, agree to disagree.
Andy Carvin’s post, “Turning Wikipedia Into an Asset for Schools” is a must read. He says:
“Take a group of fifth grade students and break them into groups,
with each group picking a topic that interests them. Any topic.
Dolphins, horses, hockey, you name it.
Next, send the groups of kids to Wikipedia to look up the topic they
selected. Chances are, someone has already created a Wikipedia entry on
that particular subject. The horse, for example, has an extensive entry
on the website. It certainly looks accurate and informative, but is it?
Unfortunately, there are no citations for any of the facts claimed
about horses on the page.
This is where it gets fun. The group of students breaks down the
content on the page into manageable chunks, each with a certain amount
of facts that need to be verified. The students then spend the
necessary time to fact-check the content. As the students work their
way through the list, they’ll find themselves with two possible
outcomes: either they’ll verify that a particular factoid is correct,
or they’ll prove that it’s not. Either way, they’ll generate a paper
trail, as it were, of sources proving the various claims one way or
Once the Wikipedia entry has been fact-checked, the teacher creates
a Wikipedia login for the class. They go to the entry’s talk page and
present their findings, laying out every idea that needs to be
corrected. Then, they edit the actual entry to make the corrections,
with all sources cited. Similarly, for all the parts of the entry
they’ve verified as accurate, they list sources confirming it. That
way, each idea presented in the Wikipedia entry has been verified and
referenced – hopefully with multiple sources.”
like this. Students doing the editing and the research. I hope the
teachers I will be working with at the high school level will like it,
is an interesting article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about
wikis. It’s about Mr. Phillipson, a visiting asistant professor of English at Bowdoin
College. His public wiki is called the Romantic Audience Project.He sets up his course and uses it to encourage his students to
really get into some lively discussions of poetry.The professors say
that the wikis promote a more casual, flexible form of class discussion
than blogs and message boards. The article goes on to say that some
campus wiki enthusiasts are making the case that the technology can
actually change students’ writing for the better, by encouraging them
to swap ideas with their classmates and to continually revise their
work, instead of turning in a paper and forgetting it forever
The article gives a good overview of wikis for those wanting to learn
more. It was really interesting to see the way he approached
this. To keep things organized Mr. Phillipson made a few exceptions to
some common wiki conventions. Students could not delete their peers’
work and had to post under user names, not anonymousley. It talks about
the ups and downs. It looks like the students came up with unique ways
of analyzing works.
“One drew and posted a pair of pictures that represented the role of
editors and publishers in shaping the work of John Clare, a
19th-century poet. Another created a short animated film about William
Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.”
The article reported that the class developed a genuine sense of
community and not only changed the way students think, but it also
changed the way they write.
Mr. Morgan of Bemidji State argues that writers who undersand the
technology can use wikis to look at their craft in a new way. He say
they are more likely to use a process he calls “refactoring”:
“posting shards of text, spinning them off into larger pieces, reworking
material constantly instead of doing so at set points during the
I love article like this that give all the details about how learning
occured, what happened, how a tool is tweaked, and just the discussions around these new types of literacy.
Oh boy, what was even more interesting was checking out the online
discussion about the pros and cons of teaching with wikis. Now that will be worth another post at another time, but this post is long enough.
I haven’t used wikis yet.. Can anyone point me to some good wiki sites where students
are involved? Or sites where the process is explained – what worked, what didn’t is more what I’d like to read. I know about Bud’s good site but would appreciate pointers to any others.