S: Weblogs and Wikis
BC: Dr. Michael Ruffini EDTC 625 Fall 2010
FC: Weblogs and Wikis: How Effective are they in the Social Studies Classroom? | Written By: Debbie Brown
1: Outline Overview.............................................. Weblogs in the Classroom............... Wikis in the Classroom.................... Conclusion............................................ References..........................................
2: Abstract Web 2.0 technology tools in particular weblogs and wikis have torn down the walls of the classroom and exposed students to a new way of learning. These tools offer students exciting and creative ways to write and allowing them to become active in the online environment. The article looks at the different uses of weblogs commonly known as blogs, and wikis in the classroom and presents a case study done on two sections of the same class presented by the same teacher in an effort to determine the short term and long term success of using wikis in the classroom.
3: Introduction The World Wide Web is full of potential as an educational tool for teachers to integrate into curriculum in an effort to keep students engaged and enhance learning. On the flip side, there are many teachers who are somewhat intimidated by all the technologies evolving around them and some wondering how they can be incorporated into instruction. With a little patience, determination and practice, teachers will find that using technology in the classroom is a definite possibility.
4: With a little patience, determination and practice, teachers will find that using technology in the classroom is a definite possibility. They may have some challenges but they may have many rewards as well. The social studies classroom is one such area in which these technologies can be fully utilized to bring instruction alive and foster authentic writing and collaborative work. Through use of the Internet, students can now be exposed to so much information on different topics and issues that were previously unavailable. The Internet has allowed teachers and students to break down the walls of the classroom in order to work collaboratively with other classrooms locally or internationally.
5: Teachers in the social studies classroom have the responsibility to teach students the skills, knowledge and the “values necessary to be effective citizens” (Frye, Trathen, & Koppenhaver, 2010). They are expected to use exemplary programs to teach students how to: 1.“acquire, organize, interpret, and communicate information;” 2.“process information to investigate questions, develop knowledge, and draw conclusions;” 3.“generate and evaluate well-informed, alternative approaches to problem-solving and decision-making; and” 4.“interact responsibly with others” (Frye et al., 2010).
6: Constructivist Learning | Class Portals | e-Portfolio | Online Filing Cabinets | School Website
7: Weblogs and wikis are among the list of Web2.0 applications used to help “achieve the goal of developing active, informed citizens” (Heafner & Friedman, 2008). Both applications encourage a constructivist and inquiry type learning in which “students are active participants in learning processes” (Heafner & Friedman, 2008) which focuses on creating a product as opposed to being passive learners.
8: Blogs | Weblogs | Blogs | Weblogs
9: Weblogs in the Classroom | Weblogs are commonly called blogs. They are basically “online journals consisting of posts in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post occurs at the top of a Web page” (Rosen & Nelson, 2008). Blogs got its beginning phase when it started out as online diaries until it developed into” interactive forums for communication” (Green, Brown & Robinson, 2007). Blogs are actually websites that allow users/bloggers to create WebPages of text and multimedia just as easy as it is to create a word processing document (Barton, Boling, Castek, Zawilinski, & Nierlich, 2008).
10: Weblogs in the Classroom (cont) | According to Richardson (2010), blogs are being used as class portals, e-portfolios, online filing cabinets, collaborative area, knowledge management and school websites. Blogs can be used for posting discussion questions, class announcements (Johnson, 2009), recapping in-class discussions, modeling assignments and more (Rosen & Nelson, 2008). Rosen and Nelson (2008) suggests that students are able to publish their work, make reflection and create “artifacts of knowledge” with the use of blogs.
11: Weblogs also foster student interaction with each other in “ways that disclose alternative perspectives and make explicit the implicit, thus promoting collective learning” (Rosen & Nelson, 2008). Frye et al.,(2010) state that using blogs to publish student work creates opportunities for them to write more maturely and to write for varying audiences. There is a general increase in written, quality work, engagement and time invested among elementary school students when they know their work will be published on the Internet for all to see (Frye et al.,2010).
12: Wikis | "Quick" | Wikis | "Quick"
13: Wikis in the Classroom | Wiki is the Hawaiian word for “quick” (Heafner & Friedman, 2008). Wikis are considered to be websites and the primary tool for collaborative writing (Rosen & Nelson, 2008). Anyone that has access and a Web browser is able to edit, add to or delete. Like blogs, wikis are generally free and are collaboratively written documents designed to be created by more than one student in a classroom setting (Morgan & Smith, 2008).
14: Wikis in the Classroom (contd) | The most popular example of a wiki today is Wikipedia known as the online encyclopedia. According to Morgan and Smith (2008), teachers and students are finding more uses for wikis creating different types that are useful in the elementary classrooms. These wikis are: 1. Classroom Wikis used for assignments, student work and parent/teacher communication 2. Report Wikis, which has displays on collaborative projects on the history of pirates 3. School Wikis and 4. Large-scale, Interschool projects.
15: Users are not required to know HTML codes and posting images only require a copy and paste action. Research done by Rolsen and Nelson (2008) found five features of wikis that are accommodating to collaborative work in education: “ease of use” “spaces for students to create products individually, in small groups and as a whole group” “ability to create a nonlinear document structure through hyperlinks” “a built-in mechanism for reflection and metacognition” “a means of tracking individual, small group and whole group progress through an assignment” (p.218).
18: Wikis and weblogs have both been proven to be effective in helping teachers introduce technology within the social studies curriculum. Bill Ferriter (2009) advises his peers that the best way to begin incorporating the 21st century tools into professional development is through reading blogs but writing a blog can be just as fulfilling. It is a good place he suggests, to brainstorm and develop instructional materials with other educators. | Conclusion
19: These two forms of Web 2.0 technologies provide ways to foster “communication-building” within the walls of the classroom as well as outside. “Classroom blogs and wikis where we create and respond to content together are intrinsically democratic spaces where power structures are minimized and our students have opportunities to share their voices” (Coombs, Leite, & Grierson, 2010).
20: References | Barton, K., Boling, E., Castek, J., Zawilinski, L., & Nierlich, T. (2008). Collaborative Literacy: Blogs and internet projects. The Reading Teacher, 61(6), 504-506. Coombs, D., Leite, J., & Grierson, S. (2010). Opening Pandora's Box: Social networks in the classroom of 2010. Kentucky English Bulletin, 59(2), 14-18. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database. Ferriter, B. (2009). Learning with Blogs and Wikis. How Teachers Learn, 66 (5), 34-48. Frye, E. M., Trathen, W., & Koppenhaver, D. A. (2010). Internet Workshop and Blog Publishing: Meeting student (and Teacher) learning needs to achieve best practice in the twenty-first-century social studies classroom. The Social Studies, 101, 46-53.
21: Green, T. D., Brown, A, & Robinson, L. (2007). Making the most of the Web in your Classroom: A teacher’s guide to blogs podcasts, wikis, pages, and sites. Corwin Press. Heafner, T. L. & Friedman, A. M. (2008). Wikis and Constructivism in Secondary Social Studies: Fostering a deeper understanding. Computers in Schools, 25(3-4), 288-302 Johnson, M. L. (2009). Building a Better Honors Learning Community through Technology. Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 10(2), 45-48. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database. Morgan, B., & Smith, S. D. (2008). A Wiki for Classroom Writing. The Reading Teacher, 62(1), 80-82. Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin. Rosen, D. & Nelson, C. (2008). Web 2.0: A new generation of learners and education. Computers in the Schools, 25(3-4), 211-219.
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