Monday, November 20, 2006

More on the Wide and Wonderful World of Wikis

Kim Cofino is an IT teacher and the IT integration specialist for Mont’Kiara International School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This past August she read Will Richardson's book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom, and discovered the new world of Web 2.0 for schools--in particular, the power of wikis.

Most people have heard of Wikipedia, the wiki-based collaborative and free encyclopedia, but don't really understand what wikis are, and are maybe a little intimidated by thinking they will need to learn a lot in order to work with wikis... Not true! For a simple overview of wikis, click here. And consider taking the plunge, because wikis are truly incredible and empowering.

Kim took the plunge, and helped the science teachers create a wiki for the 6th grade students across three different classes to model the creation of a medical clinic. The "Strings" (orchestra) class wiki has students researching different kinds of music to present to each other. She also has an IT wiki and a study skills wiki, both of which allow the students to become the authors of the material. And she is working on a wiki for IT teachers in middle schools to collaborate together on the use of technology, called The Tech in the Middle.

Listen to a "Take 5" short interview where Kim describes her work with Web 2.0 here. Get free educational wikis at Wikispaces. See examples of other educational uses of wikis here. Read Tom March's previous post on Wikipedia. And take the plunge!