Wikis always make me visualize tikis.
Module 7 in TEC-950 was exploration of Wikis which are not a readily used tool in my tech toolbox. After exploration, I have an idea as to why. First, I never had the experience of contributing to a wiki before. I never realized how easy it was. I created a Wikipedia account and found a place where I could easily put the fact that misspelled words create a physiological response to immediate work. Edits were quick and pages available for editing were even suggested. It was crazy simple. I can see multiple opportunities for teachers and students. Rather than demonizing Wikipedia for research purposes, it seems like the perfect place to have students evaluate the credibility of soures or even practice editing. If sources are inaccurate, empower students to be part of the solution. In order to do this you must trust students and believe in their contributions to knowledge. I found contributing to a page about Web 2.0 tools also extremely easy and intuitive

What was difficult was creating my own wiki. Not from a technical standpoint but rather a logistical one when considering how I might use in my current role. Logging into wikispaces, I already had an account and had a wiki that I created last year as a pilot for 2nd grade teachers. It was quickly abandoned because it generated little interest. However, when the information was posted on a google site via embedded pdf document it was readily used. It made me realize why it failed. Wikis are built upon a mindset that knowledge is free and everybody has a contribution. There is also a level of trust that is extended to contributers that is described as SoftSecurity in the readings. However, in an environment where Teachers Pay Teachers for resources, many teachers work behind closed doors and are reluctant to share, a wiki seems completely foreign. A wiki is by design interactive as opposed to a typical web site which is passive in comparison.

This is the power of using a wiki in the classroom. It empowers students and reinforces the mindset that students have knowledge to contribute. However if teachers are to use this tool or any other Web 2.0 tool in the classroom, there needs to a certain level of personal proficiency as well as clarity of purpose around the tool. Moving forward, I want to find authentic opportunities within my own role to expose teachers to using wikis themselves so they are more inclined to use in the classroom. If teachers are able to experience wikis from the perspective as author and contributor, they can see the power of wikis and experience the simple user interface. Then, teachers will be better prepared to do use wikis for thier intended purpose within their classrooms.