What Can We Do with Wikis?

What are some of the types of things you can do with Wikis? Let's brainstorm a few:
  • Collaborative projects among student groups- wikis act as a great organizer for students working on a group project. The discussion and email features allow for students to communicate asynchronously, so time together never becomes an issue.
  • Class texts- study guides where each student is responsible for adding relevant content to help the class create a study guide through the wiki. Students would be able to pull in a multitude of resources from around the web and from text sources.
  • Vocabulary or wikidictionaries- students build a virtual word-wall online as they learn new vocabulary throughout a year. At the end of the year, they can reflect back on the building process.
  • Have focused classroom discussion- wikis allow you to extend the classroom discussion beyond the 40 or 70 minutes we see them. Also, it has been the experience of several of the teachers in our district that reticent students will contribute more to online wiki discussions. We call this the "drive-home" effect (thanks, Jo).
  • Bring back "Choose Your Own Ending" stories- have students create a story that has multiple plots and endings using the wiki to link out to the various choices that the reader can make. See "The Holocaust Wiki Project" below for a better understanding.
  • Project resource pages- use a wiki to house all of the resources for your project, including how to's and videos to help the students understand concepts.
  • International Collaboration- use a wiki as a homebase for a collaborative project with another school. The open access allows any member with an internet connection to be a part of the wiki.
  • Create a Presentation- ahem.
  • Digital Portfolio- teachers and students alike can use a wiki to create a showcase of their work over a selected time period for reflection and review by others.
  • Create Responsible Internet Users- Wikis allow you to place extraordinary power in the hands of the students, and as Peter Parker's Uncle said, "With great power comes great responsibility." Wikis need to be monitored and edited regularly, so by giving jobs to students as editors and monitors, you are asking them to police themselves

Here is a great blog post about using wikis in the classroom from Vicki Davis.

Also, see this list from Chris Sessums' wiki