The Learning Librarian

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Wikispaces

on March 31, 2013

I was looking forward to learning more about Wikispaces this week. I have rarely used Wikis in the past, only once or twice for a class. The website, http://www.wikispaces.com, is extremely easy to read and understand. I like how it is categorized so nicely – you can choose whether you want a Wiki for Education, Business or Personal and choose from more categories within those categories. The home page answers some FAQs and explains how Wikis work by showing several icons and what they mean. When I went to create my own Wiki (http://abbycooper.wikispaces.com), I liked how a box immediately popped up that welcomed me and offered to give me a tour around the page. Using this tour feature, I was quickly able to learn how to edit my Wiki and manage the content. Since I do not really need a Wiki for anything right now, I did not add members or content. However, I played around with the layout and found one I really like. Though my 4-year-old students are way too young to be using a Wiki, I can definitely see myself using this page with older students in the future.

I really like how easy to use this tool is. The site is organized well and creating my Wiki was no headache at all. I also appreciated the tutorial at the beginning; it answered all of my questions by introducing every aspect of the Wiki one at a time. I feel like I have a very clear understanding of the tool after reading the tutorial and following the suggestions and directions it gave. The only thing I did not like was the fact that there were very limited options for backgrounds. I like the one I chose but it is not very unique. It looks like there are more to choose from if you pay a fee of $5. I appreciate tools like this, but I am not willing to pay for them!

I think this would be a fantastic tool to use with middle or high school students. It is a sophisticated way to combine and share information, and it goes more in-depth than a blog or Google Doc. Students can write, edit, share, upload documents, add movies, videos, etc. I believe this is as good as it gets when it comes to synthesizing information, and it teaches and uses all types of literacy. This resource would be especially helpful in developing digital literacy, which requires students to manipulate media and adapt it to new forms. As students create documents, videos, images, etc, they will need to be able to export them to the Wiki. This transfer of information is very beneficial for students to learn, and using a Wiki will allow them to practice presenting information in different ways.

 

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