Friday, February 03, 2006

[TIPS] - wiki ideas

If you've heard of a wiki, then perhaps you're struggling for other ideas of how to use them. Here is a list of ideas that come to mind immediately.
 
Word list - For example, Words that are Fun to Say (blubber, macadamia, spaghetti :-)  ) Students would enter the word on the first page, make it a link, and on the resulting page use it in a sentence - complete with a picture, maybe. (Have you ever heard the Bulbous Bouffant recording?  http://www.fireball20xl.com/slapdash/bb.swf If it's blocked at school, try it at home.) MUKLUKS! MUKLUKS!
 
Spelling lists - same idea as above. Maybe the teacher populates the first page with the terms and the students make the links and use them in sentences. If so, write each word a few times to allow more than one student to choose that term.
 
Important People, Places, Events (in general, or from a unit of study) - The teacher could list the names of the people, places, and events that will be important to know for the unit test. Students can then take one and define it. What if they define it incorrectly, or if they miss the important aspects of that item? Teach your students to read other people's entries and make additions or suggested corrections (kindly, of course). That's the power of a wiki, after all.
 
Places We've Been - Of course, with some classes of students this won't work, as many may not have been outside the city limits or certainly not outside the county. But, on the front page students would be encouraged to write down the name of the place they've visited and make it a link. On the resulting page they could discuss what they saw, what they did there, and what surprised them about what they saw.
 
After a field trip, "What Did You See?" - Let the students add what they saw to the front page, make the link, and then talk about what they saw. If you took along a digital camera you can even add pictures from your trip. Many wikis are able to be downloaded in pdf format, too, for a printable copy of their discussions.
 
Are you getting the idea? Think of a community bulletin board where the students could post pictures about a topic. Now translate that into words and you've got an idea for a wiki. Want a wiki of your own? Try this site: http://www.pbwiki.com for a free wiki.
 

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