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April 24, 2018

Incorporating Wikis in the Classroom

Amy Giblin, a teacher in the Morrisville Borough School District in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, created a wiki to use with her ELL students in grades 6-12Amy was a bit apprehensive, having never created a wiki before, but after giving it a try, found it to be a useful tool, and a “piece-o-cake” to create.

Go, Amy go!

Here is an inside look at Amy’s experience:

After creating my new wiki

I feel positive and somewhat recharged in terms of lesson planning. Over the past couple years I have been trying to find various ways to implement technology into my classroom and this is my first experience with a wiki. I am really glad I’ve have the opportunity to spend time learning how to create them and making one for my own professional use. Once I started playing around on the wikidot site, I found myself getting more and more comfortable with the program. At first, I thought it was somewhat complicated – especially when I realized that wiki uses its own kind of coding I thought “oh boy, what did I get myself into?”

But the videos offered in Module 3 (for course 5834: Bringing Your Classroom Online: Best Practices to Get You There) they really broke down each process step by step and this helped calm my fears. After completing the project, I am by no means a wiki expert as I’m sure I’ll still need to use the wiki community when I get stuck or forget how to do something.

Although for now, I feel as though I can maintain the wiki I’ve created and teach the basics to my students – and I’m sure they will quickly begin teaching me things that they’ll figure out on their own.

Overall, I am really pleased with the final product; I know this is something that I will get a lot of use out of as I made sure to gear the project towards something that my students will often utilize – the interactive glossary.

Just about every other week my students are given a new list of vocabulary words to define and it becomes quite boring for them after a while so I’m oftentrying to find ways to liven up this necessary task and I feel as though incorporating this task into a wiki is going to be just what I was looking for – and perhaps so much more!

I definitely believe this experience was valuable enough to do again for other lessons or projects in my curriculum. I probably will try out this particular wiki first and see how smoothly the process goes with my students this coming fall.

If it is as successful as I think and hope it is going to be, then I will start brainstorming and considering what other areas I can implement the wiki for. I think teaching students to be 21st century learners is such an important aspect in current education that I would like to see them using these skills as much as possible. I would like to give them the opportunity to create their own wikis as well; it’s just a matter of where that makes sense in my curriculum.

Do you use wikis in the classroom? If so, tell us about it. We’d love to hear how you’re teaching with technology to improve your student learning and collaboration!


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