Don’t you love it when they improve tools

logo_pbwiki_2.jpg  Pbwiki just emailed me that they have added a new point/click editor to their site that makes it even easier for you to add content to a wiki site.

They’ve included a point and click format similar to other collaborative sites, with easy gadgets for inserting videos, photostories, calendars, stock quotes, chat windows, etc.

(If you have an existing wiki, they’ll email you asking if you want to update it to the new editor).

I’ve found using wikis a very easy way to collaborate on documents with groups of students or committees.  You can easily copy and paste Word documents onto the site, but then the document becomes editable for everyone in the group.

Other ways you can use a wiki if you haven’t tried out the technology yet–

  • Have students collaborate to create an online “text” for your class.  They will learn a lot about the importance of editing as they hash out what details should or shouldn’t be included.
  • Create a guide to accompany a novel your class is reading or have the students create the guide, including maps, commentary, vocabulary, etc.
  • Have students create a geometry tutorial web page with formulas often used for the class.
  • Create a site similar to WikiTravel where students create their own webpage on a country or city.
  • Use it interdepartmentally to collaboratively edit documents.
  • When presenting a workshop, collect your links, images, and documents on the wiki which you can then use during your presentation.

Businesses like Ebay and Best Buy are using wikis extensively–Ebay’s manual is actually a wiki created by its customers.  

Wikis have many positive benefits for the classroom.  Students have the opportunity to engage more actively in creating the content for your class. Wikis also allow them to learn to “negotiate” content in that they have to collaborate with others to create the documents.

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