Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Week 7 Thing #16

Wikis. Ok, my first knowledge of a wiki was Wikipedia - a site that I hated my students using - after all, why use something that anybody could post on! Where's the authority? Once I told my students that anybody could go in and add or change the post many of them did - especially the post about our hometown! They also discovered that Wikipedia was monitored and was changed back - although who was the authority of our hometown, it was derogatory piece of info I'll tell you that! Well, it served to illustrate to the students that wikis may not be the authoritative resource of choice, but I also taught them to triangulate, ie if they were getting the same information from 2 or three other reliable sources then they could use the Wikipedia source. So that's my experience with wikis.

However, after reading Valenza's post
Ten reasons why your next pathfinder should be a wikilooking at the various wikis from the assignment and taking a web conference through the Ontario Library Association on using wikis with Loertscher's Ban Those Bird Unit research models, I can see the potential here for pathfinders, research projects and library pages. What I am not so clear on is how this will work with our firewalls at schools. I like the fact that with pbwiki (this is from my web conference - we were shown how to use pbwiki to create a space for student collaboration on various projects) you an password protect it and keep it private if you wish and that you can track the edits via student log ins.
I really want to start a wiki and use it as a pd tool - not sure where to start though.

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