Empower with Wikis

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“Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment” (WikiMedia Foundation).

Wiki Means Quick

Wiki means quick in Hawaiian. The wiki was created by Ward Cunningham in 1994 and installed on the Internet in 1995. The most famous example of a Wiki is Wikipedia, a very extensive on-line encylopedia that allows anyone to add to and edit its entries. Wikipedia comes in multi-languages and has over 4 million articles. It was founded by James Wales. However, the content on Wikipedia is ongoing.

Teaching to Wiki 
I facilitated about 15 teacher training courses on how to edit a wiki and create open education resources such as lesson plans, WebQuests, and courses for free on Wikieducator from 2008-2010. The process of teaching and editing a wikimedia was very empowering because I was able to learn with and from all the participants.

The Wiki Way
The wiki way means collaborating and learning together. We are social learners and get excited when we can engage in conversations that allow us to share information. The popularity of wikipedia and other wikis are evident. According to studies conducted by Dr. Jonah Berger (see Contagious), people love to share stories, news, and information with those around them. Berger’s studies show that people use “more than 16,000 words per day and every hour there are more than 100 million conversations about … things that make them look good to others” (Contagious, p. 33).


Wikis for Personal & Collaborative Learning Environments
On September 4, 2013, I gave a teacher training class on Wikis (click on the hyperlinked word to get the recording). Wiki can be used for personal and professional learning environments (PLEs) and for collaborative learning environments (CLEs). There are many kinds of Wikis (Wikispaces, PBworks and Wikimedia). The presenter focused on her experiences with Wikispaces and Wikieducator.

Wikis for Learning
Wikis are a great way to learn together. I have been using wikis to engage students in collaborative learning. Each of us has something to offer. We all know something that may be of interest to others so why not add it to a collective learning environment, a document, or a wiki where everyone can contribute. Knowledge is power and together we may be more powerful than individuals.


Start a Wiki
Anyone can now start their very own wiki and invite others and keep it to store information. I recommend the following three wiki websites (click on the word to access the wiki website):

Wiki vs. Blogs
Wikis are superior to blogs. Wikis provide an effective way to connect with members of organizations for collaboration. Members can interact on the wiki. They can also get support that include Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the company, a product, or make suggestions. A wiki allows everyone to start or add to a page instead of merely adding comments as on a blog.

Blending and Flipping Classes
Teachers can now take a free professional development course on how to integrate web technologies into fully online, blended, and the flipped class. The course includes participants from around the globe. The highlights of the course are blogging and using Wikis for teaching and learning.

Dr. Nellie Deutsch has a doctorate in educational leadership with a specialization in curriculum, technology, and instruction. She conducts research and writes on fully online and blended learning programs, presents online and face-to-face at conferences, and organizes professional development workshops to educators worldwide. Nellie is passionate about learning and helping others reach their goals. She has a relationship-based learner-centred approach to life and learning. She consults, writes, and presents (face-to-face & fully online) on e-learning. She uses Moodle for her course management system and WizIQ education online to connect to colleagues and students in real time. Nellie is a faculty member of Atlantic University and the University of Phoenix, the program coordinator at the World Association for Online Education (WAOE), on the program committee and reviewer at EdMedia, on the steering committee for computer assisted language learning interest section (CALL-IS) at TESOL International Association, and on IATEFL YLT SIG. She's manager, designer & lead facilitator of Moodle for Teachers (M4T) workshops at Integrating Technology for Active Lifelong Learning (IT4ALL). Nellie has been an ambassador to WizIQ since 2007. She organizes annual and tri-annual MOOCs such as Moodle MOOC in June, October, and February, Second Life MOOC in April, and Well-Being MOOC in September, online conferences such as CO09-CO14 on February, and Moodlemoot 2011-2014 in August that are sponsored by WizIQ.

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