A great opportunity to collaborate. An ideal way to keep everything accessible in one area. A past fascination. These are all words I use to describe wikis. I used to LOVE wikis. When I first started the Written Communication program, I thought for sure I would be doing my final project on wikis. If you would have asked me a year and a half ago, I would have guaranteed that was the path I wanted to travel, and that wikis were my passion.
Obviously, things have changed, as I've been introduced to different (and dare I say, more exciting) things. Don't get me wrong, I still believe there is merit to wikis, but they have grown old to me...at this time, at least. However, I still like talking about all the different ways I've used wikis in the past.
How have I used them? Well, I'm glad you asked. It all began during my undergraduate years (fall semester of 2007, to be exact), while taking an assistive technology course for my special education degree. Just to give a little background, this was the class that made me realize how much I have a PASSION for technology in education. Anyway, this teacher had a class wiki, a PBwiki, that we dialogued on regarding assistive technology devices, software, websites, etc. Finally, the sun was peaking through the downpour of rain. I never understood what collaboration, team building, class effort was like until the wiki. Okay, well I may be slightly exaggerating that fact, but the truth is, that day, I fell in love with wikis (really, this part I'm NOT exaggerating).
I ended up doing an honors project for this class, and take a guess what I did! Come on, I bet you'd never guess! Well, it was a wiki. Shocked?!?! Of course you're not because I just got through saying how much I loved wikis. So, I began to complete an online encyclopedia of assistive technology devices that described and reviewed all things related to assistive technology.
It didn't end there. While I was a student teacher in a high school English classroom 2 1/2 years ago, I helped my cooperating teacher incorporate a wiki in the Steinbeck unit. She had never used one, which gave me the opportunity to help her through the process of setting it up. Even though I left part way through the use of the wiki, I would check in periodically (as I was doing my special education student teaching in the same building) to see how everything was going. She enjoyed using the wiki. It was a great place for dialoguing. It was a great place for observing collaboration.
As you can probably tell, I still really enjoy the possibilities of wikis. I think they have a lot to offer, if used properly. However, my world has recently been opened to other pieces of technology that can be incorporated in the classroom, such as blogs and Google docs. So, currently, I'm focused on learning more about incorporating those, along with other up-and-coming technologies that will attract students to learn.