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Archive for the ‘Wikis’ Category

peanutbutterandjellyWelcome to a post by my very first guest blogger — Diana Booth! Diana is one of my colleagues and she recently gave a really interesting  presentation on wikis at the Illinois TESOL/BE conference. I thought you would enjoy seeing one of the examples of how she uses wikis with her students. In case you are wondering, the sandwich to the left is a reference to pbwiki (peanut butter wiki). This is the wiki farm that Diana uses and she filled me in on the peanut butter part — very cute.

Now here’s Diana:

This wiki was used to help students practice new vocabulary. They were studying some of the Academic Word List words, and in addition to in-class practice activities, they had to find native speakers and ask them to use the vocabulary words in simple sentences. The idea was for the students to hear the words used in the most natural contexts.  Also, to have a reason to approach native speakers (and possibly make friends) and to have fun :). Since there were students who did not feel comfortable using computers and since I couldn’t provide my students with native speakers (in case they didn’t have any American friends or colleagues), this activity was done for extra credit. The students who participated enjoyed it very much. Our class ended late at night, and many times by the end of the very next day, new sentences had already been added. I had 3-4 “regular writers.” This wiki also provided a good opportunity for self-reflection. When students realized how many words they had learned, it made them feel better about themselves and about the class as well.  If you would like to see this wiki, please go to Wiki to Work on Vocabulary. To see the front page of the wiki go to Diana Booth’s Wiki.

Source for the Photo:

Cornet, Renee. PBJ. Downloaded on February 26, 2009 from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PBJ.jpg.

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wikis

Like blogs, wikis are Web 2.0 tools that have tremendous educational potential. A blog usually has one main person who posts and other people become involved in the blog by making comments.  A wiki, on the other hand, is usually a collaborative piece. The participants in a wiki usually have equal access to the site and as a result, they have equal opportunities to get involved in its creation. Wikis are great when students work on group projects. They are not, however,  limited to collaborative work. Because the history of a wiki can be viewed,  they allow instructors to monitor the changes students make and when they make them. This could be useful for reviewing how an individual student moves through the writing process. If you would like to learn more about wikis and how they can be used with students, please see a presentation that I made on this topic: Wikis.

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