Sunday, March 25, 2007

Podcasting Wikis and Blogs Oh My!

I have become the biggest fan of wikis. They can do so much and be integrated with just about every curriculum. I have created several wikis in the past 2 months. I have tried several wikis. The one I like best is WikiSpaces. They are giving away 100,000 free wikis to educators. They are at approximately 24, 000 today. Once you sign up you can create several different wikis.

I like WikiSpaces because it is easy to use. Teachers today will not use something they have to struggle with. You have to give them reasons as to why they should give up their time to learn something new. Let's face it successful classroom teachers are busy and an added activity better be good. A wiki is such an activity.

The important reason to use a wiki is that the students love them. My first wiki was created for my students in my senior media class. The students' first activity was to search for and critique a podcast that they liked. They used the wiki to display their critique. One of the students critiqued a podcast called Wicked Good Podcast. One day after the review was posted on the wiki, the podcasters from Wicked Good Podcast found it and responded to their review. My students were shocked, the lights went on all about the classroom, and they realized the power of this form of media. I don't think I've experienced an educational moment like that one in a very long time. It was great!

I have created a wiki for our teachers. We have a program called MIT, Monday Instructional Technology. Our teachers can sign up for different classes relating to instructional technology. I use the wiki to deliver the instruction. It will also be used to share our collective discoveries. This is also a tool that will be used as follow up to the training. Something that has been missing in most teacher development courses.

Other wikis I have created are for special programs or activities. I believe wikis can be used for just about any activity. Use them for a simple presentation or as an ongoing classroom web page. The ease of use and the options that you have make it a great tool for your classroom.

My other wikis are sidneyisafe, techpodzone, and psucast. Please join and share the wealth.

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