Wednesday, April 4, 2012
What is a wiki?
When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (i.e. online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will define a wiki.
Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has a interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers or Ipads. Given parental and school approval, and the development of specific guidelines, smartphones can be used to enhance instruction as well.
Note: Although wikis can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join.
Note: Wikis can be used in both a physical and virtual Judaic Studies classroom.
What is a wiki?
According to Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki
A wiki (i/ˈwɪki/ wik-ee) is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include community websites, corporate intranets, knowledge management systems, and note services. The software can also be used for personal notetaking.
Wikis may serve many different purposes. Some permit control over different functions (levels of access). For example, editing rights may permit changing, adding or removing material. Others may permit access without enforcing access control. Other rules may also be imposed for organizing content.
Ward Cunningham, the developer of the first wiki software, WikiWikiWeb, originally described it as "the simplest online database that could possibly work." "Wiki" (pronounced [ˈwiti] or [ˈviti]) is a Hawaiian word meaning "fast" or "quick".
Click here to read a helpful blog post on how to use a wiki for instruction.
On the next post we will continue our discussion on how to start a wiki for your classroom.