To Wiki or Not to Wiki

I know, I know:

“Using a tool for it’s own sake is bad pedagogy.” 

“Have an objective and then find the tool that will help you best meet that objective.”

“If your favorite tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Blah, blah, blah.

What if you didn’t know if your objective was even possible until you tried out the tool?  Then what?

I completely understand Kate’s frustration when it comes to the speed bumps caused when we try to rely on certain tools.  But what about just making the tool available and allowing kids to come and go as they see fit?  Why can’t we do that?  Does everything have to have a lesson plan attached to it? 

I originally created this wiki just because I could.  I let kids take some class time to familiarize themselves with how to use it–in fact, we learned how to use it together.  But the space has taken on a life of it’s own.  I have kids who are now in high school coming back to access the resources they created last year. 

That’s a good thing, no?

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2 Responses to “To Wiki or Not to Wiki”


  1. 1 Kate Nowak December 5, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Seems a wiki is a specific example of a technology that lends itself to that – leave it open and let them come and go as they please. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s fantastic that you found a way to make it flourish without requiring participation. I don’t really know how to do that.

  2. 2 David Cox December 7, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Problem is, I don’t know what I’ve done to make it work. I have had them do some assignments on the wiki, but I don’t know that the tool increased the learning or if it just made it public. Are your students doing much with your class blog?


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