Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thing 7

I'm finding Wikis to be a little more of a challenge in which to really get interested, but I know why. It's the organization. I am a visual learner. I like pictures and not many of the wikis I visited had them as part of their main mode for navigating the wiki. I was not fond of the organization in the following wikis:
  • Dr. Reich's Chemistry Wiki - Everything was well organized, but my interest was not perked because there were no pictures. If you want kids, and me, to use it regularly you have to have pictures.
  • FHS Wolves Den - I loved the idea of scribe notes, but it seemed that everything was just a list of stuff. Maybe an outline would be helpful.
  • 1001 Flat World Tales Project - I love the whole collaborative idea behind this one, but it was hard to follow the path or the process. Visually I found it busy.
With all of these wikis, I love the ideas of how to use them in the class, but I struggled with the visual appeal and the ease of finding things. Some of the wikis even made it difficult to see the purpose of the wiki.

I've made a classroom wiki for my math class this year (Tipton's Math Wiki), but I will be the first to admit it has not turned out the way I had wanted. I have a few students still using it to study and to play math games, so that is wonderful. The fault falls on me alone for it not being what I want it to be. I guess the next step for my wiki experiences is for me to sit down and make a list of the items I want on my wiki and then put them into categories to have better organization myself. Then, I need to make it visually enticing and maintain the organization.

Things I would love to use in a wiki included:
  • scribe of notes from the day's lesson
  • video of the day's lesson
  • homework question area
  • games
  • online projects - the issue here is assigning a project for a grade and a student not having a computer or internet.
Back to the age-old issue of benefits and detriments to everything.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a very visually oriented person myself, and find that I do like to see some pictures or something else to entertain my eye along side the content as well. When I see tons of text, I kind of zone out. Personally, I don't think it takes that much effort to add a picture here or there as long as it adds to the meaning of the content.

    Regarding your own wiki, if this helps, I know that I have had to go back and re-think the organization of my wikis on more than one occasion. It sounds to me like you've got the right idea as far as going back and outlining what you want. Just remember that wikis are a flexible tool and you can pretty much make them into whatever you wish.

    Oh, and for the online projects. Make the project a long-term one so that access to technology doesn't become a pressing issue. If they work in groups (remember you can track what each person does in the history via individual sign on) and/or you give them plenty of time to complete the project (think months instead of weeks), then it becomes SO much more doable given the technology constraints. Don't NOT do it because of that issue. Use the issue, to find a means of working around it. :)