Friday, March 28, 2008

#16 Wikis

While visiting the Educators/Librarians Wiki, I found a webinar scheduled for April 8th on using wikis and getting staff and student buy-in. My district has applied for an Improving Literacy through School Libraries grant and we're hopeful that we'll be awarded the funds we're requesting. One of the things we really need to work on is expanding the access to technology within the district. Wikis are great for collaboration and building a resource--as long as you remember that it's only as good as its participants make it. The most famous of wikis, Wikipedia has been much-maligned. Even so, I admit that I do use it on occasion. :D I just hope that I'm as mindful of the possibility of something being hacked by someone as I want my students to be. I don't want them using only an encyclopedia for research either!

I could see students using a wiki to present the results of a class project (i.e. country reports, recipes, science fair resources). I can see educators using it as a tool for storing lesson plans and resources, sharing ideas with others and even collaborating with classrooms throughout the district and the world. I even think my neighbor who does an annual diversity calendar could use a wiki to create and flesh out his student products, with kids building on it from year to year.

Being an editorial control freak though would probably get the better of me if I were trying to participate in or manage a wiki myself. I want people to accept that my verbiage is the best or my design is the best (I learned that the hard way this spring when something I spent a lot of time on was changed but my name was left on it even though I would have sooner died than have someone think I did what was done in that instance.) The problem with collaboration is that there must be some agreement among the collaborators.

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