Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WIKIs within the Classroom

Hello all, 

WIKIs within the classroom are a great way for learners to learn through doing, the Constructivism approach (Vygotsky, 1962). According to the Education Bazaar (2009) this is the process learners go through when creating WIKIs in the classroom;
  • Planning & Pre-Writing
  • Collaborating
  • Researching
  • Drafting
  • Editing
  • Reviewing
  • Revising
  • Publishing  
I have devised a unit of work for year six and/or seven learners using Wikipedia. I have utilised the Engagement Theory (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999) to create this unit plan. Learners will be learning about the history and European settlement of Noosa. They will be posed with the problem that; 'Wikipedia needs your help to enhance its information on the history of Noosa and the European settlement of Noosa. The information currently available for the world is very minimal so it needs to be improved through accurate, creative and informative facts.' Learners will then be able to go through the process of creating a WIKI as described above. The 'Relate' component of the Engagement Theory is met through the use of collaborative partnerships throughout the unit. The 'Create' component of the Engagement Theory is met through learners being able to define how to bring all of the information together. The 'Donate' component of the Engagement Theory is that the task is relevant, real-life and authentic. Learners will be engaged with the unstructured problem. 

Lesson 1: Introduce Wikipedia to the learners. Allow time to explore. 
Lesson 2: Learn how Wikipedia is created. Go through the process step-by-step, explaining that different people all over the world can contribute.
Lesson 3: Pose the problem: 'Wikipedia needs your help to enhance its information on the history of Noosa and the European settlement of Noosa. The information currently available for the world is very minimal so it needs to be improved through accurate, creative and informative facts.' 
Lesson 4: Explore European settlement and history broadly across Australia.
Lesson 5: Teach learners how they are going to be working collaboratively.  
Lesson 6: Begin then creating partnerships within the class to research.
Lesson 7: Learners continue to research.
Lesson 8: Learners then need to confer with other groups and bring research together.
Lesson 9: Learners then need to begin the drafting process, through conferring with other groups.
Lesson 10: Drafting continues.
Lesson 11: Learners are then able to edit each other work.
Lesson 12: Learners need to put their information onto Wikipedia.
Lesson 13: Learners revise there work once it is on the computer.
Lesson 14: Learners learn about images and what makes an effective image, they are then able to insert images in collaboratively. 
Lesson 15: Learners finally publish their information.

WIKIs can be incorporated into the classroom in a multitude of ways, they cater for different learning styles as learners are able to work collaboratively and therefore utilise their strengths. Creating a WIKI promotes higher-order thinking and creativity. They are a wonderful way to enhance and support learners' learnings!
Regards,

Kira.

References

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from http://home.sprynet.com/%7Egkearsley/engage.htm

Vygotsky, L.S. (1962). Thought and Language. CambridgeMA: MIT Press.




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