Woeful Book Wiki Turned to Wow Book Wiki

As I prepare for my NECC presentation on assessing Web 2.0 tools, I have visited many schools’ wikis, websites, etc.

I’m feeling more and more discouraged.  I’ve noticed that most wikis are simply an online collection of student work. For example, all students in a class may do a book report and these book reports are posted to the class wiki.  The students post their book report and the project is done when the last book report is posted. There has been no interaction among students or other adults.  They have only worked in one learning style, linguistics.  Likewise, the students have paraphrased  (summarized) their book; they have not analyzed it.

Let’s look at another version of a book wiki.  The teacher asks all students to select a book that has friendship as a theme. They read their book and post an explanation of  how the book demonstrates friendship (analysis level of thinking). They create a drawing or a concept map that shows the specific  friendship in their book and post that to the wiki.  Then the students select at least three other book reviews to read. After they read each review, they comment on how their own book’s theme of friendship  is similar or different to this student’s review. They come up with an example of that book’s friendship from their lives and post it. Then the class has a discussion on various types of friendship.

Let’s change wikis from just a collection place to an interactive high-level thinking learning place.

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students


12 Responses to “Woeful Book Wiki Turned to Wow Book Wiki”

  1. 1 Mollie June 20, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I would love to see some of the examples that you talked about examining here. I am interested in using web 2.0 more successfully in my own 5th grade classroom next year, as right now we are using it mostly for discussion boarding (a great use I find) but I want to move on to using it to replace their reading reflection journals. Im always looking for some more ideas. Can you post them, or reply to this please?

  2. 2 David Warlick June 21, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Let’s change wikis from a collection of ideas to an “ideal collective.”

    What you talk about is very common. Too often, people go to conferences, like NECC, looking for the technology de jour. Then the bring it home and integrate the life out of it.

    I don’t know if its how we present the technology at conferences, or if it simply what people come looking for.

    It’s what’s so important about presentations like yours. It’s not about answers. It’s about questions.

    Great luck to you!

    — dave —

  3. 3 Trace June 22, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I see a great point in your blog entry… And I agree with you in many ways…
    However, I must say that I am “one of those people” that have used my wiki to “showcase student work”. As a primary teacher, I see it as a wonderful way to bridge the gap between my classroom and the home. I have had many positive comments and parent testimonies on how our classroom wiki has provided suppertime conversations in which the child is sharing about their day, what they have learned, and their excitement to the activities being done without the parent having to “pry” for answers from their child.
    My students are provided with many opportunities to collaborate and share in higher level thinking activities within my classroom. They also participate in collaborative blogs with other classrooms across the state and Skype with other classrooms…. which provides them with great interaction among other students.

  4. 4 Justin Ashworth June 23, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Wow, David Warlick checking in to your blog? Harry Tuttle is officially on the map!

    Really like where you’re going with this post. I’m seeing a lot of what you describe at my school, the web just acts a digital display case. Lots of oooohs and ahhhs but no real in-depth critical thinking going on.

    I often think that we’re sending the wrong message to our students about how to use technology. We’ve got a long way to go with teaching thinking skills to our when using 21st century technologies. The goal is to not only be able to create and post content, but to analyze, synthesize, evaluate and interact.

  5. 5 Diane Quirk June 23, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    The challenge is not with the tool. In both cases mentioned, a wiki is always going to be a wiki – it’s our pedagogy that hasn’t made the transition yet.

  6. 6 david Loertscher June 25, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    The treason tech tools don’t show up as making any difference in achievement is just what you are talking about – tranfering non-think assignments to technology equals non-think assignments.
    I will review your book for the magazine Teacher Librearian in the October issue and catch your session at NECC. You might also check out my book: Beond Bird Units because the models there are the high think stuff you do. Good to encounter a like-minded fellow.

  1. 1 2¢ Worth » My First NECC Blog Trackback on June 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm
  2. 2 My del.icio.us bookmarks for June 22nd Trackback on June 23, 2009 at 3:07 am
  3. 3 My First NECC Blog « iThinkEducation.net! Trackback on June 23, 2009 at 3:43 pm
  4. 4 My First NECC09 Blog « iThinkEducation.net! Trackback on June 24, 2009 at 5:43 pm
  5. 5 Online Education » Blog Archive » My First NECC09 Blog Trackback on June 25, 2009 at 6:41 am
  6. 6 Science & Education » Blog Archive » My First NECC09 Blog Trackback on June 25, 2009 at 6:41 am

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