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Understanding Wikis and Blogs

Wikis and Blogs are types of Social Software that enable people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through the Internet.  Other types of social software includes:

  • Instant messaging (IM)
  • Text chat
  • Wikis (wikipedia)
  • Blogs (blogger.com)
  • Social bookmarking (post a list of bookmarks for others to use–digg.com, del.icio.us)
  • Massively-multiplayer online games (MMOGs)
  • Media Sharing:  Photo (flickr), Video (YouTube)
  • Social networks (MySpace, Facebook)

These tools have the potential to help educators connect what students do for fun with writing, reading, and learning content.

Wikis

WIKI is an online collaboration model and tool that allows users to add/edit some content of web pages by using a simple web browser.  Wikis have an automatic revision history which allows users to track the evolution of the wiki over time.

Why would anyone use a WIKI?

  • Easy to use site with simple user interface, ability to add pages, and simple navigation
  • Students spend less time creating pages, and more time developing content
  • Allows students to collaborate on a project while sharing ideas, and providing immediate, equal access to the most recent version of the document
  • Track research and ideas from anywhere they have internet access
  • Helps save time by seeing what sources others have checked
  • Provides centralized location to collectively prepare final project

 


Blogs

BLOG is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption on the web. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or the Web site.  Some blogs allow users to comment.

  • Blogs can be used to rapidly publish new ideas and receive comments from diverse audiences
  • Create reflective or personal journals
    • Student can track progress in a course
    • Students can keep important notes handy in an online environment so that they have access wherever they have internet access
    • Instructors can provide feedback to the student using the  comment feature to guide student thinking and progress
  • To give students ownership of a personal space that encourages active engagement by the students and teacher
  • To connect with others and make connections to learning.
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