My thoughts, class diary, whatever

Why social software?

Students need to learn how to use tools to communicate with others around the world, but most of all they need to learn how to communicate with people from different cultures, living different realities, and to accept the differences and learn to collaborate.

A Wiki is a great tool to start practising.

Wikis. What for?

I have two wikis. Take it Further and Taking it Further with parallel blogs.

I’m the only editor of the first one, I started it to learn how to use it; but, most of all, to imagine what to use it for.
Take it further: Extra help. Grammar and vocabulary exercise, notes… for each group.

Taking it further. (I should edit the homepage)
Together with some of my students

What I love about wikis

  • Students have to learn how to contribute respecting other people's work. We, teachers have to learn about this as well.
  • They can make autonomous decisions, such as opening their own page and using it for whatever they want. (Whatever is too much.)
  • You can use the same wiki for different purposes and still keep it organized.
Wikispaces (the only on I've used) is very easy to edit.
You can send an email with your students' usernames and passwords and they'll register them for you. I can't use computers at school, this makes registration easier.

Blogs vs. wikis

Different people can contribute to a blog or a wiki; but in a blog the author is identified, the final product can be collective; however, the single posts are always individual. Wikis are more anonymous (some of my students wrote their names next to what they had written the first tune they edited a wiki).
I would say that the most important aspect of a wiki is content; the same could be said about a blog, but “ornaments” seem to be less important in wikis than in blogs.
You can add a great number of pages to a wiki and use it for several similar purposes and still keep it organized.