Wikis as Professional Development

March 9, 2008 at 4:48 pm (wikis)

While using and learning about the wiki tool, teachers can start to think about how they might use a wiki in their classroom.  This accomplishes two goals:
(1) practice and comfort
(2) first hand experience of the meaningful use of technology in engaging actvities (Soloman & Schrum, 2007) .

Reading and Research
Even though The Shifted Librarian blog is geared more to the world of public libraries, information from it and the presentations available at The Shiften Librarian Wiki I believe are applicable to school libraries. 

Sharing Curriculum Resources & Best Practices
I like the fact that Curriki provides a global context for sharing resources based on a moral purpose (Fullan).   I think the South African Curriculum wiki is an amazing accomplishment.  As usual, I love anything created by Joyce Valenza’s including her teacherlibrarianwiki

Networking
Wikis provide an outlet for student teachers, teachers or librarians to connect with colleagues in wikis dedicated to each: Future Teachers Meet Wiki (Soloman & Schrum, 2007),  Teacher Connect and Library Success.  If you are a one-person department, or even if you are not, this could provide an outlet for collaboration and pedagogical discussion.  For Teachers New To Wikis is part of the larger Writing Wiki (Soloman & Schrum, 2007).  While I like the concept, its visual appearance is not for me. 

Brainstorm, Collaborate & Archive
When I saw a comment at Elizabeth’s write2learnhere blog attributed to David Loertscher, the name was familiar but I couldn’t remember why.  My search led me to AASL Wiki Presentation by Loertscher and Company.  Discussion from 20 tables was summarized into four topics at the bottom of the wiki page: reading, technology, teaching & learning, continuing education.  This provides a model of an alternative way to organize a wiki.

Key Issues for Professional Development “allows participants to collaboratively contemplate their most important topics and ways to further their mission” (Soloman & Schrum, 2007).  I wish I could figure out how they changed the background colors in the table!

Action Research
I just discovered that the Horizon Report has a companion wiki in which educators can contribute thereby supporting the research for next year’s report.  I hope I get a chance to contribute as it would make reading next year’s report that much more meaningful. 

By exploring, contributing or creating wikis, teachers can engage in meaningful learning of yet another web 2.0 tool.  These positive experiences can serve to influence critically-meaningful integration of web 2.0 tools in the classroom.  On a professional level, I think visiting and contributing to a wiki is another way of being a HitchHikr, hitching a conference ride.  It appears to me that many conferences, or their presenters, have a companion wiki which are created before the conference, contributed to during the conference in real time and archived for future reference, discussion and collaboration.  Not only are virtual libraries in physical and virtual spaces, conferences and professional development is as well. 

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1 Comment

  1. Paul Left said,

    Some very useful links in here – thank you! I’m very interested in the use of wikis in professional development for teachers, and I’ve written a little about my use in this post: http://www.verso.co.nz/pedagogy/22/readwrite-learning-in-professional-development/. There are some advantages but I’ve also identified some drawbacks which I think we need to consider when planning the use of wikis in professional development.

    I have a mediawiki site at http://www.verso.co.nz/mw/ which is for my own writing (ie non-collaborative) but mostly use the Moodle wiki for professional development activities. It’s not very powerful compared to mediawiki but managing access (eg who can read or write) is very flexible.

    Paul

    PS: you can add color to a table in mediawiki in several ways – the simplest is decsribed at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Table#Color.3B_scope_of_parameters

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