Sunday, November 1, 2009

Week 7, Thing #16 Wikis

It was very helpful to see examples of how schools and libraries are using wikis. Considering that the first time I worked on a wiki was for a class project in one of my graduate classes last year, I am not that familiar with wikis. The wiki did help with the collaboration between classmates. On other class projects I have had to send emails back and forth. We would have to be aware of which document was the current document we were adding information to. It was much easier to just go to the wiki and add information to the wiki. Then we always knew we were working with the current document. I asked my daughter if she is using wikis in her class. For her 11th grade English class they are using a wiki. Taking a look at the wiki, each student has their own page where they can work on their own assignment. It sounds like my daughter's teacher is using the page to make it easier for the students to hand in their papers and to also give students the chance to see other students' work. I did not see any collaboration between students for that particular class. Looking at other school wikis I discovered that wikis can be a place for teachers to include information about homework, information about assignments, and links to other resources in addition to being a place for students' to post their work. It was also interesting exploring the different possibilities of wikis for libraries. Wikis sound like a great place to put documents such as reader's advisories, pathfinders, and book reviews. Even if the document is something that will be updated only by library staff, a wiki would make it easier for people to find and update the current document. Having a wiki that patrons could also edit such as book reviews would help to include patrons' ideas about books. I enjoyed seeing the example of a wiki for a summer reading club for adults where patrons could add their reviews of the books they were reading. This site was also an example of how things kept changing due to technology. The next year instead of using a wiki for the book reviews, the patrons were able to add their reviews to the library catalog. I am thinking a library might still want to have a wiki for book reviews for a summer reading club even if the patrons can add the reviews to the library catalog if the purpose is to build a community among the adults in the summer reading club. With the different kinds of technology, I think a librarian must first decide on the purpose for using the technology in order to determine whether or not the technology would be the best way to meet that purpose. Once a librarian decides upon a purpose that a wiki may fulfill, then it would be easier to determine who is allowed to edit the wiki and how to market the wiki so that the potential users know about the wiki.

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