Wikis: The Educator's Power Tool

Wikis: The Educator's Power Tool

Wikis: The Educator's Power Tool

Wikis: The Educator's Power Tool

Synopsis

Wikis can be one of the most effective learning tools for today's teachers- if they're used correctly and appropriately. In many cases, educators have not been using this powerful Web 2.0-based tool to its complete potential. In today's demanding, fast-paced education environment, educators need to take full advantage of the technology resources at their disposal to keep pace with tech-savvy students and meet assessment standards.

In Wikis: The Educator's Power Tool, the author shares her vast knowledge to unlock the capabilities of wikis for every educator. Educational wiki use can be categorized into three major types: the library wiki, the reciprocal wiki, and student-produced wiki. This book gives real examples of all three uses, as well as straightforward instructions on how to set up, dress up, and lock down a wiki for optimal practicality, attractiveness, ease of use, and security. Student and content-specific examples are included.

Excerpt

Times are tough in schools these days. Lack of funding combined with high-stakes testing standards, curriculum maps, and top-down edicts of teaching strategies have made teaching a very difficult job. Add to all of this the pressure to integrate more technology into the curriculum and the massive amount of Web 2.0 technology tools along with the huge amount of information available for use, and teachers can become overwhelmed. The purpose of this book is to make one of the most powerful tools·the wiki·less mysterious and easy to add to the strategies teachers can utilize to meet new demands on their time and talent.

The book describes three types of wikis, each having a different purpose and outcome. Teachers will find uses for each type, and the advantages of wikis as a learning strategy will become evident to them. Based on 21st-century technology standards, the use of integrated technology tools in student learning is a life skill to assure success in a world where teachers prepare students for jobs that do not yet exist. By following the guidelines in this book, teachers will help students organize, synthesize, and evaluate information they can use for problem solving and higher-level thinking, which are elements that form the basis for achievement in tomorrow’s fast-paced, high-stress world.

By using the guidelines found in this book, teachers and media specialists, administrators, and support staff will learn the advantages of using wikis in and out of the classroom. Many real-world examples are included that show how wikis are being used by educational professionals all over the world. To engage and motivate students, I have thoughtfully chosen model wikis that can be used as templates for wiki creations. Please bear in mind that URLs often change or are deleted entirely. I have put all the active links mentioned in these pages on a wiki that I will attempt to keep updated to assure that readers will have access to all the sites referred to.

I have created a support wiki to accompany the content of this book. At this wiki site are live links to the many wiki examples, as well as videos to help you create wikis. Please use this site to complement the guidelines found in this text. You will find this wiki at: . There you will find a wiki page where you can leave comments and messages for me and post the URL of your new wiki to share with others. I would love to communicate with you in your endeavor of implementing wikis in your classroom.

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