3/16/2006

Wiki at work - #1c

This post is based on a screencast (about 8 minutes long) that demonstrates the editing of a Wikipedia page, in this case an article on a heavy metal band. It is interesting to see the interactions and the development of mechanical, contextual and even the cultural input. As well, there is an example of vandalism at work (and erased).

Since the open editing feature of a wiki is both a positive attribute for the collaborative process and a potential negative impact on the product of content, this screencast was valuable for understanding the wiki in action. The construction of knowledge was evident, as well as the infrastructure of this web-based tool. Strictly from a writer’s perspective, it also displayed what would likely be the profuse drafts an author goes through to get the final product – though in the case of wikis, there is no finality. That characteristic of change and ever-developing content is a reflection of our world, our lives and learning itself.

Vandalism, spam and monitoring of wikis is still an issue. One could assume that a wiki used for classroom instruction would not be viewed often and thus not a victim of destruction, but that may not be the case. So how to control that potential? I continue to find myself drawn to the notion of wikis, but don’t feel I have my “arms wrapped around” the entire concept yet…

Having identified some of the basic traits of the wiki, I’ll next explore wiki examples in education and basic theoretical underpinnings for the use of wikis in learning.

Udell, J. (January 22, 2005). InfoWorld. Retrieved March 14, 2006 from
http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/gems/umlaut.html

5 Comments:

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Julie Romey said...

Marie - Thanks for the link to that great demonstration of the Wikipedia process. It was really interesting to watch that whole process. Again it brings to my mind the question of the validity of the information found on wikipedia (and other wikis). I remembered a conversation I had with a student who had mentioned a comparison he read between Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica. I did a quick Google and came up with this link. I'm not sure if it's the same one he was referring to, but at a quick glance it looked interesting.

http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/mar06/berinstein.shtml

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Marie C said...

Julie,
Great resource - thanks for sharing! The similarities and contrasts helps to understand many of the underlying characteristics, too!
Marie

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Joshua O said...

Interesting link Marie. An unlikely topic for a wiki, I guess you can create educational content for just about anything. You brought up several good points concerning a wiki's collaborative nature and the potential for vandalism. These concerns seem to accompany every web-based application with open access. Unless we restrict our pool of contributors, which you could by vocational class/grouping, monitoring is necessary. I feel that monitoring with the ability to edit/delete negative materials is preferable to restricting input. You've done quite a bit of research, have you come to a decision on access?

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Marie C said...

Josh,
The next generation of educational content - heavy metal bands! Seriously, it was only used to demonstrate the process of wikis' open editing! :-)

I heartily agree with the need to keep it non-restrictive, but it will require monitoring - that still fits a teacher/facilitator's role in my mind. The wiki access (wireless or not) will be likely be based on class or program - though I've not explored all of the applications..

Thanks for your comments,
Marie

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger Julie Romey said...

I'm not sure how helpful this site might be, but I came across it today in my searching. I didn't spend too much time on it, but thought it might have some information for you.

http://ferret.bemidjistate.edu/~morgan/cgi-bin/blogsandwiki.pl?Entry_Point

 

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