Welcome to my Blog!

Hello and welcome to my blog. It is here that I will be working through various discussion topics related to technology, learning, and most importantly the creation of meaningful and relevant student instruction. I openly welcome your comments, and hope that my insights and presented information works to inspire and assist fellow educators in the effective integration of technology.

In Barcelona with my Girls!

In Barcelona with my Girls!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oh so Wonderful Wikis!

Don't you just love those days when everything just seems to fall into place, and the world has become your proverbial oyster?  Well that's the kind of day I experiencing right now, and I am going to love every second of it because who knows when it may happen again. 

I have always believed that experience is the best teacher if you're willing to take a risk and try something different, last week it was blogging and in this case that something different was a little wonder called a wiki.  Over the last few days I have been studying the topic of wikis, and how they can be used to increase productivity and/or creativity amongst colleagues in a work setting.  In reading about wikis what intrigued most about these tools was there inherent ability to really ramp up the degree of collaboration amongst wiki members.  Up until last week I had had limited experience with wikis and had only once been a 'member' of one other wiki ever - and in hind sight knowing what I know now it really wasn't that great a wiki and could have been so much more.  In my desire to figure this whole wiki thing out I set about establishing a wiki for use with a masters course I am enrolled in.  Low and behold it was a fantastic experience and one which definitely worked to spark my interest in seeing how 'big' the impact of wikis could be.  The idea of people being able to share resources and thoughts collaboratively and then effectively edit them until they may resemble something completely different is a very cool concept and one that definitely suits the comfortable confines of the education profession.  Being able to collaborate with co-workers or associates beyond your school in the development and revision of teaching resources represents a giant step in how materials could be developed for use with students...but I digress.

Looking back at the motivation for this post, the pearl of the day was not a result of this wiki epiphany but rather the fact I was able to apply my new wiki knowledge almost immediately into a real world application.  Recently the professional development program contracted through a third-party company for all Emirate schools was terminated and all associated PD resources were to be effectively 'scraped'.  One of these resources scheduled to be scraped was an internet forum which numerous colleagues had worked tirelessly on uploading a multitude of resources designed to aid with the professional development and training of teachers and school reforms.  The forum had for the most part become a source of support for its users and once gone everyone would be left with no means of communicating or sharing information.  Signal the trumpet call...this is where I, and my newly acquired knowledge, saw an opportunity to take us all in a different direction and utilize what I believed to be a better tool.  Spending the better part of a day I designed a wikispace for use with my colleagues, all 190 of them - and from all indications the wiki is a rave hit and people are wondering why we didn't make the jump sooner.  Obviously there are some users who are new to world of wikis but they are being taken care of as a result of a tutorial section I included in the home page. 

In conclusion I absolutely love it when you learn something that turns out to be a useful skill...

1 comment:

  1. That is exciting!!! Way to go! You jumped right in and tried something new! I bet creating the wiki and inviting all those members was a lot of work, but how satisfying! Thanks for inspiring me!