Yes, it’s finally happened. I finally have entered the wild, wonderful world of wikis. WikiSpaces offers a free public wiki page, allowing multiple users to create and edit. Through their educational licenses, WikiSpaces offers free and private wiki pages for teachers.
Through wikis, students can collaboratively engage in learning along with their teachers. One of the things that I enjoy so much as a teacher is when students teach me something. The ability to incorporate a wiki into my course would really open up the oppurtunities for students to not only contribute, but for themselves to help become the teacher.
The constant evolution of production technology means that the equipment that I teach to my students, through both hardware and software updates, is constantly changing. I laugh when, on occasion, a software update changes the function of certain things, yet students have this vision of a “teacher” as being all-knowing. I have been in front of my class teaching a topic, when something doesn’t work, so I open up the manual to see why. The students look at me like “o my gosh, he doesn’t know”, and then I have to explain that you can’t know everything, but knowing where to quickly get the answers that you need is key. And then, 30 seconds after I encounter the problem, I have it solved, and the students learn a valuable lesson.
The ability to incorporate a wiki into my course would allow students to share information that goes beyond the basic knowledge that I teach them in my classroom. There are so many ways to use the technology that I teach, and much of it is so customizable based on user preference, students often find little shortcuts, workarounds, or different methods of using the equipment. A wiki would give them a platform to share the knowledge.