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Wikis in Education. Eastern Michigan University EDMT 680. Kaisa Mikkola Kathy Lester. Wikis in Education. What is a Wiki ? How to Use Wikis Why Use a Wiki ? Examples Summary. Wikis in Education. What is a Wiki? How to Use Wikis Why Use a Wiki Examples Summary.

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Wikis in Education

Eastern Michigan University

EDMT 680

Kaisa Mikkola

Kathy Lester

Wikis in Education

  • What is a Wiki?

  • How to Use Wikis

  • Why Use a Wiki?

  • Examples

  • Summary

Wikis in Education

  • What is a Wiki?

  • How to Use Wikis

  • Why Use a Wiki

  • Examples

  • Summary

What is a Wiki?

What is a Wiki?

  • Website that allows a group of people to create and edit the website contents without any special technical knowledge or tools.

  • History

  • “wiki wiki” = Hawaiian for quick or fast

Ward Cunningham is the man behind the very first wiki, described it as "the simplest online database that could possibly work”

(Nations, 2009, p. 1)

Characteristics of Wiki

  • “A wiki invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki Web site, using only a plain-vanilla Web browser without any extra add-ons.”

  • “Wiki promotes meaningful topic associations between different pages by making page link creation almost intuitively easy and showing whether an intended target page exists or not.”

  • “A wiki is not a carefully crafted site for casual visitors. Instead, it seeks to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Web site landscape.”

    (Wiki, 2009)

  • Easy to use

  • Can be used any time, any where

  • Keeps track of revision history and who has made changes

  • Can be set to be public or private

  • Is constantly under construction

  • Collaboration is key


  • Features of a wiki

A collaborative tool


Wikis in Plain English

by Common Craft


Click arrow to continue

Wikis in Education

  • What is a Wiki?

  • How to Use Wikis

  • Why Use a Wiki?

  • Examples

  • Summary

How to Use Wikis

How to Use Wikis

  • Choose a wiki service

  • Create your wiki

  • Use best practices

  • Start “wiki-ing”!

  • Wikispaces

  • http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers

  • PBworks

  • http://pbworks.com/academic.wiki

  • Wetpaint

  • http://wikisineducation.wetpaint.com/


  • Choose a wiki service

- Compare wiki services at: http://www.wikimatrix.org/

  • Each service provides instructions

  • Wikispaces: step-by-step video tutorial

  • http://www.wikispaces.com/site/tour#introduction

  • Use edit button to access WYSIWYG tools


  • Create a wiki

  • Wikispaces: http://www.wikispaces.com/site/tour#introduction

  • PBWorks: http://pbworks.com/content/supportcenter

  • Wetpaint: http://www.wetpaintcentral.com/page/FAQ

  • Create a culture of trust

  • Set up wiki rules

  • Assign meaningful, authentic activities

  • Provide instructions and allow for practice

  • Best Practices


  • See a sample wiki agreement at :

  • http://wikicentral.wikispaces.com/file/view/mrsmaines+wiki+warranty.doc

Wikis in Education

  • What is a Wiki?

  • How to Use Wikis

  • Why Use a Wiki

  • Examples

  • Summary

Why Use a Wiki?

Why Use a Wiki?

  • Allows for pedagogical strategies

    • Cooperative learning

    • Active learning

    • Project-based learning

    • Authentic instruction

    • Inquiry

    • Constructivism

    • Differentiated instruction

The pass rate increased, when Paulson switched to cooperative and active learning strategies.



  • Research Supports Cooperative Learning

For more information on cooperative learning go to: http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/cooperative/whyuse.html

  • Mastery and retention of material

  • Quality in reasoning strategies

  • Process gains:such as production of new ideas

  • Transference of learning


  • Advantages of Cooperative Learning

- Johnson and Johnson (as cited in Warburton, 2006)


  • Active Learning

Creating, adding to, and modifying content in a wiki moves students up into the higher order thinking skills of Bloom’s revised taxonomy (Churches, 2008)

To engage today’s students


A Vision of K-12 Students Today

by B. Nesbitt


Click arrow to continue

Click arrow to continue

What Students Say

(Fedigan, 2009)


Liked Wikis


(Maine, 2009)

  • Create

  • Communicate

  • Collaborate

  • Manage & evaluate online information


  • Essential Skills for 21st Century Workplace

“A power shift is underway and a tough new business rule is emerging: Harness the collaboration process or perish” -Tapscott and Williams (as cited in Ferriter, 2009, p. 38)

Wikis in Education

  • What is a Wiki?

  • How to Use Wikis

  • Why Use a Wiki?

  • Examples

  • Summary



  • Classroom Communities

  • Global Communities

  • Professional Communities

  • Post class information

  • Share resources

  • Whole class projects

  • Group-based projects

  • Brainstorm

  • Reflection/feedback/discussion

  • Peer or teacher writing review

  • Use of Wikis in the Classroom

  • See Educational Wikis for classroom examples:

  • http://educationalwikis.wikispaces.com/Examples+of+educational+wikis

  • K-1: Create an animal alphabet wiki

  • Elementary grades: create a spelling wiki that could become a virtual word wall.

  • MS or HS: collaboration on any group project

  • For a grammar lesson, have the students edit a paragraph inserting all punctuation and capitalization.

  • Build a story by having each student add to the existing story line.

  • Build a wiki about the seven continents. After reviewing, each continent ask students to post two facts about what they have learned.

  • Have students write a daily reflection

  • (What about wikis, 2007-2009)

  • Some specific classroom use ideas

- See TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for many other specific ideas: http://www.teachersfirst.com/content/wiki/wikiideas1.cfm

  • Mrs. Maine’s Wiki

  • “wiki is the hub”

  • Maine posts daily instructions, rubrics, and resources

  • Students post research, lab data, and observations

  • Students hold discussions, collaborate on group projects, and post their final work.

  • (Rubenstein, 2008)

  • Example of a HS Classroom Wiki

  • See Louise Maine’s HS Science wiki at:

  • http://mrsmaineswiki.wikispaces.com/














  • Pedagogy of a Wiki-Centric Classroom

(Davis, 2006)

  • The Bear-Den

  • Gary Klingman posts instructions, rubrics, and resources

  • Students post notes and assignment work

  • Students work individually, in groups, and as an entire class

  • Links to class blog and podcast

  • Main focus: collaborative learning (Klingman, 2007)

  • Example of a MS Classroom Wiki

  • See Gary Klingman’s 8th grade World History wiki at:

  • http://bear-den.wikispaces.com/

  • Global Gorillas Wiki

  • Mainly a place to showcase student work including:

    • Movies

    • Podcasts

    • Blog entries

    • PowerPoint presentations

  • Each student has own wiki page

  • Civil War Group Project wiki

  • Example of a Elementary Classroom Wiki

  • See Jan Abernathy’s 5th grade class wiki at:

  • http://jabernethy.wikispaces.com/

  • Pen pals

  • Global group projects with emphasis on:

    • Global citizenship

    • Social attitudes and values across the globe

    • Global perspective on current issues.

  • Use of Global Wikis with Students

  • See Wikis in Education at Wetpaint for specific examples: http://wikisineducation.wetpaint.com/page/Global+Connections+Wikis

  • Flat Classroom Project

  • Connects students from around the world to analyze the 10 societal trends from The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman.

  • Students were paired with a global partner to use a joint wiki to describe, give viewpoints, and create a video about their societal trend.

  • (Lindsay and Davis, 2007)

  • Example of a Global Wiki

  • For additional information see:

  • http://www.flatclassroomproject.org/

  • Meeting Planning

  • Curriculum Development

  • Professional Development

  • Team or Department Collaboration

  • Professional Learning Communities

  • Use of Teacher Peer Wikis

  • See Wikis in Education at Wetpaint for specific examples: http://wikisineducation.wetpaint.com/page/Teacher+Peer+Wikis

  • 21st Century Learning

  • A wiki with 125 members (as of 7/25/09) who share

  • information about 21st century learning.

  • Example of a Teacher Peer Wiki

  • See the 21st Century Learning wiki at:

  • http://21stcenturylearning.wetpaint.com/

Wikis in Education

  • What is a Wiki?

  • How to Use Wikis

  • Why Use a Wiki?

  • Examples

  • Summary



  • Benefit for Students

    • Can contribute anytime, anywhere

    • Develop collaborative skills

    • Develop skills in negotiation and organization

    • Develop critical writing skills

    • Develop sense of responsibility and ownership (Richardson, 2005)


  • Benefit for Teachers

    • Engage students with use of new technology

    • Easily track student submissions

    • Increase student accountability in a group

    • Create and maintain space easily

    • Foster a sense of community within the classroom

      (Lamey, 2007)


  • Concerns

    • Wiki “vandalism”

    • Student privacy issues for public wikis

    • No concurrent editing of a page

    • Combating “copy and paste”

    • Limited access to computers can be a deterrent

    • Some school districts block or filter wikis


Churches, A. (2008, April 1). Bloom's taxonomy blooms digitally. Retrieved July 25, 2009, from Tech & Learning Educators' Ezine: http://www.techlearning.com/article/8670

Common Craft. (2007, May 29). Wikis in plain English. Retrieved July 30, 2009, from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dnL00TdmLY

Davis, V. A. (2006, October 12). The web 2.0 classroom. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from K12 Online Conference: http://k12online.wm.edu/Web20classroom.pdf

Davis, V. A. (2007). Wikis in the classroom. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/coolcatteacher/wikis-in-the-classroom

Fedigan, A. (2009). What students say about using a wiki. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from VoiceThread: http://voicethread.com/#q.b330469.i1750705

Ferriter, B. (2009). Learning with blogs and wikis. Educational Leadership, 66 (5), 34-38.

Klingman, G. (2007, December 5). Wiki: Bear-Den. Retrieved July 27, 2009, from Examples of Educational Wikis: http://educationalwikis.wikispaces.com/Examples+of+educational+wikis


Lamey, L. (2007, December 2). Wiki: A Tool for Collaboration. Retrieved July 21, 2009, from wikisforcollaboration: http://wikisforcollaboration.wikispaces.com/file/view/Wiki+Presentation.ppt

Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. (2007). Flat classrooms. Learning & Leading with Technology, 35 (1), 28-30.

Maine, L. (2008). Why wiki. Retrieved July 21, 2009, from Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/files/existing/pdfs/edutopia.org-way-of-the-wiki-louise-maine-why.pdf

Maine, L. (2009, June). Wiki central: presentation for NECC 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/hurricanemaine/wikicentral-reso-for-necc?type=presentation

Nations, D. (2009). What is a wiki? Retrieved August 3, 2009, from About.com: web trends: http://webtrends.about.com/od/wiki/a/what_is_a_wiki.htm

Nesbitt, B. (2007, November 28). A vision of K-12 students today. Retrieved July 20, 2009, from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-ZVCjfWf8

Parker, K. R., & Chao, J. T. (2007). Wiki as a teaching tool. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, 3, 57-72.


Paulson, D. R. (1999). Active learning and cooperative learning in the organic chemistry lecture class. Chemical Education Research, 76 (8), 1136-1140.

Richardson, W. (2005). What's a wiki? A powerful collaborative tool for teaching and learning. That's What! Multimedia & Internet@Schools, 12 (6), 17-21.

Rubenstein, G. (2008, August 13). Wiki woman: how a web tool saved my career. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/wiki-teacher

Warburton, S. (2006). Wikis and collaboration: approaches to deploying wikis in educational settings. Retrieved July 25, 2009, from SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/stevenw/wikis-and-collaboration-approaches-to-deploying-wikis-in-educational-settings?src=related_normal&rel=935188

What about wikis. (2007-2009). Retrieved August 3, 2009, from Teach web 2.0: http://teachweb2.wikispaces.com/What+about+Wikis

Wiki. (2009). Retrieved July 31, 2009, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki

  • Image Sources listed in slide order:

  • 1. Wiki graphic: http://diversityfocus.wdfiles.com/local--files/start/wiki.gif

  • 4. Ward Cunningham: http://www.clasohm.com/photodb/photo?photo_id=13709

  • 6. Construction: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybell/2978576506/

  • 9. Keyboard: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lapideo/198046070/

  • 10. Wikispaces logo: http://www.wikispaces.com/file/view/www-wikispaces-logo.gif

  • 10. Pbworks logo: http://pbworks.com/version6/images/layout/pbworksLogo.gif

  • 10. Wetpaint logo: http://www.wetpaint.com/img/logoHome.png

  • 11. Edit button and toolbar: www.wikispaces.com

  • 12. Trust: http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-g-uk/3089201681/

  • 14. Big puzzle: http://coe.sdsu.edu/eet/articles/authassess/bigpuzzle.htm

  • 15. Paulsen graph: http://serc.carleton.edu/images/introgeo/cooperative/paulson.gif

  • 16. Girls outside: http://www.flickr.com/photos/menlophoto/3257818499/

  • 17. Blooms Simple: http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/Facilitating+21st+Century+Learning

  • 17. Go On Creating: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotologic/410355440/

  • 19. What Students Say Graph: http://www.slideshare.net/hurricanemaine/wikicentral-reso-for-necc?type=presentation

  • 19. Teen @ Podium: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/clipart/default.aspx

  • 20. Wikinomics: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/imageviewer.asp?ean=9781591841937

Image Sources listed in slide order (continued):

22. Hand Circle: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/clipart/default.aspx

23. Students with Laptop: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/clipart/default.aspx

24. Boys on Computers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/extraketchup/719557295/

25. Mrs. Maine’s Wiki: http://mrsmaineswiki.wikispaces.com/

26. Wiki-Centric Pedagogy: http://www.slideshare.net/coolcatteacher/wikis-in-the-classroom

27. Bear Den: http://bear-den.wikispaces.com/

28. Global Gorillas: http://jabernethy.wikispaces.com/

29. Hands on Globe: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/clipart/default.aspx

30. Flat Classroom: http://flatclassroomproject2006.wikispaces.com/file/view/cc3.JPG

31. Teacher with Laptop: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/clipart/default.aspx

32. 21st Century Learning: http://21stcenturylearning.wetpaint.com/

34. Behind Laptop: http://www.flickr.com/photos/foreversouls/3365427886/

35. Teacher with Laptop 2: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/clipart/default.aspx

36. They’re not here to socialize: http://www.innovationcreators.com/SocialSoftware.png

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