Monday, July 10, 2006

Academic: Wikis in the Classroom

From the Innovate Journal of Online Education
June/July 2006, Volume 2, Issue 5,
An academic article regarding wikis and potential applications in education. I think the importance of this article is in providing some insight as to the perspectives of the digital natives and how these collaborative tools will be used in schools, and hence inevitably find their way into your home.

From the introduction:
Uses and Potentials of Wikis in the Classroom
by S. Pixy Ferris and Hilary Wilder
As Prensky (2001) observes, "Our students have changed radically. Today's students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach" (1). Prensky sees today's students as digital natives while most of today's teachers remain digital immigrants. In particular, today's educators are acculturated to a print paradigm while students are increasingly products of a digitally-based secondary-oral paradigm. Happily for educators, electronic and cyber technologies can potentially combine the best aspects of both print and secondary-oral paradigms, allowing educators to move freely across the print-oral continuum. One cyber technology enabling this movement is the wiki, a unique interface where information is not fixed (as in a print model) but fluid and flexible to meet the needs of the community (as in the pre-literate age). In this article we describe how teaching and learning have changed across oral, print, and secondary-oral paradigms; in turn, after addressing some controversies over the use of wikis as scholarly and educational resources, we advocate the use of wikis as a teaching and learning tool.

Note that you may have to subscribe to Innovate in order to access the entire article.


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