What does this have to do with education? Can I really use this in the classroom?

The answer is YES!

There are many ways that wikis can be used as a classroom resource for teachers.

One of the best features of utilizing a wiki in the classroom is the ability to collaborate with others. The following list ways that collaborative assignments can be enhanced by utilizing a wiki:
    • Responding to a Text - A teacher-created wiki in which students can write responses to an informational or literature piece allows discussion via the web. Students have access to comment on other students' responses, creating an area that fosters safe communication.
    • Collaborative writing:
      • Creative Writing: Start a story. Give the students one prompt on the main page. You can either assign the students to add a certain number of sentences to the story one-by-one, or have the students create a page where they finish the whole story on their own. The site will serve as a collaboration of stories with the same beginning!
      • Informational Writing: Assign students in the class a different section of a topic that needs to be taught. Have each student add their piece in a location/page that makes sense on the wiki. At the end, you have a collaboratively created website about a specific topic that each student in the class has taken part in.
    • Editing - Teachers can assign students to put drafts of their papers on wikis to have other students edit their work. The students can look for grammatical errors, factual errors, repetition, wording and more while editing the word of their peers. This brings peer editing to a place where it can occur out of the classroom. Students can either be assigned specific papers to edit, or in an all-trusting classroom, the students can collaboratively edit all pieces.
    • Discussion Questions/Topics - Use the wiki to post discussion questions/topics that students can respond to. This gets them critically thinking while feeding off of each others' insights and truly discussing the topic at hand.

Here are some other ways a wiki can be utilized in the classroom:
  • Parent-Parent/Parent-Teacher Communication
    • An educator can make a wiki that tells parents what is going on in their classroom each day, homework their children have received, and more. They can place a calendar of school events, news letters, rules, field trip information, unit objectives, the lunch menu, classroom pictures, student work, and more on their website. The wiki can also serve as a discussion tool in which parents can create their own account and comment on what the teacher has posted.
  • Teacher-Student Communication
    • Again, the educator can post important information on the wiki that children need to access, such as their homework assignments. The students are able to communicate through commenting as well, and can ask any questions on things like homework or scheduling.
  • Individual Projects
    • Students can create their own wikis in order to complete projects.
    • Examples of Individual Projects that could be done on a wiki:
      • Book Report
      • Author Study
      • Report on a Country, Animal, Biography of a Person, etc.
      • Writing Portfolio
    • Having students complete projects like these allows them to publish their text to the world, which serves as motivation to complete it to the best of their abilities. Creating a wiki gives the students ownership and choice of their projects.
  • All of the above
    • A great way to use a wiki is to create a home page for your classroom. The links on the side can lead to all of the above. Parents and students will always know what is going on in the classroom, and student projects and collaboration can occur, all on separate pages of the same website.