Tuesday, August 11, 2009


What I am finding fascinating is the etymology of all of these Web 2.0 technologies:
and now Wiki - a Hawaiian word for quick! (Cunningham (1994), as cited by Augar, Raitman and Zhou, 2004)

It was in my first year of study that I encountered "wiki" - our group assignment for Futures was to create a wiki. Since then, I have only used "Wiki-" in some of its other embodiments - 'pedia, 'tionary.

In reading blogs of my other e-learners, I know that they have used wikis as a means to contribute to group assignments and organise tasks - that certainly puts paid to the tyranny of distance and the time factor that can sometimes impede a group assignment.

I can see that wiki is indeed a collaborative tool, and can be used for students in the classroom to work on small group, or whole class projects. It can be used for time-poor LMs and students when planning for assignments or units. My struggle now is how to use wikis in an early childhood classroom. I did find a wiki with student-created examples. The underlying principles for using wikis in the classroom as stated on the home page is another example of Engagement Theory in action - relate, create and donate.

I can see that Wikis can be used as a tool for collaborative learning across different KLA's - maths, science, literacy. In particular I like the following examples of a collaborative literacy experience:
Terry the Tennis Ball
Adventure in the Trench

But wikis are not just confined to your classroom - there are examples of wikis connecting students globally in working on collaborative projects. One example is all about Monsters.

Wiki collaboration is also about creating communities of practice and social-constructivism. I am even experiencing my own Zone of Proximal Development. I am trying things that seem to be outside my realm - through online and personal conversations with peers and more experienced adults, I am learning and achieving things that I did not think possible.

I have created my own wiki which I will keep up to date with links, tips, ideas for early childhood LMs. It is only in its infancy, but hopefully it will grow.

Augar, N., Raitman, R. & Zhou, W. (2004). Teaching and learning online with wikis. In R. Atkinson, C. McBeath, D. Jonas-Dwyer & R. Phillips (Eds), Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference (pp. 95-104). Perth, 5-8 December. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/perth04/procs/augar.html

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Downloaded 5 July 2009 from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jane,

    I could not agree more with you about how fascinating these learning tools really are.

    It is very exciting as I am constantly trying to utilise what I have learnt to the classroom. Simply teaching those around me enables them to teach others. E-learning tools such as Wikis, blogs, avatars, Google Reader as an rss feed they are great!

    I too also enjoy having an understanding of the etymology of all of these Web 2.0 technologies.

    It almost feels like a small child in a candy store learning these new tools. Having this knowledge and understanding I feel we are one big step closer to enhance how and what our students learn.

    Talk to you soon

    Katrina :-)