The Wiki Way of Learning: Creating Learning Experiences Using Collaborative Web Pages

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Given the limited budgets of schools, educators, and school librarians, free and open source tools for learning are more important than ever. Essentially, wikis are easily accessible webpages for creating, browsing, and searching through information, making them ideal vehicles for teaching and collaboration. In this pathbreaking collection, theoreticians and practitioners from a range of international settings explore how wikis are being used to create learning experiences in a variety of educational environments, from grade schools through universities.  Offering numerous hands-on examples of using collaborative webpages with learners, this book gives teachers, educators, and instructor librarians

  • a theoretical overview of the concept of web-based collaboration and the social implications of the participative web written by Mark Guzdial, a pioneer in using wikis in education;
  • an understanding of how wiki-engines function as a flexible tool for collaboratively creating, linking, revising and regrouping hypertext content;
  • pragmatic guidelines for the educational use and application of wikis, including applications as e-learning management systems, informational resource libraries, online tutorials, maker community project creation, and digital asset file management;  
  • strategies for setting up a learning unit the "Wiki Way" and choosing the most appropriate and suitable wiki-engine in a particular education setting; and
  • coverage of two different scaffolding models for learning scenarios which have been implemented and tested in the US, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and China.

Enabling readers to see how wikis' content and content creation processes can be harnessed for instructional design, this collection represents an important advance in improving education through collaborative technologies.

Foreword: Wikis in Collaborative Learning: Exploring the Role of Authority and Invention


by Mark Guzdial


Chapter 1    The Wiki Principle



by Beat Dobeli Honegger and Michele Notari

Chapter 2    Knowledge Construction Using Wikis: Theoretical Approaches and Implications for Schools



by Johannes Moskaliuk

Chapter 3    Learning in the Field of Tension between Public Opening and Openness



by Sandra Hofhues and Katharina Uhl

Chapter 4    How to Collaborate Using a Wiki



by Michele Notari and Beat Dobeli Honegger

Chapter 5    Wikis in the Didactics of Science Education



by Kuno Schmid and Paolo Trevisan

Chapter 6    Using Wikis in Project-Based Learning with Groups of More than 100 Learners



by Michele Notari and Stefan Schärer

Chapter 7    How to Use a Wiki in Primary Education to Support Collaborative Learning Processes



by Manoli Pifarré

Chapter 8    Using a Wiki for Collaborative Learning at Primary Schools



by Samuel Kai Wah Chu, Nicole Judith Tavares, Andy Ho Cheung Law, Kwok Yam Fung, Chi Sun Fong, Olivia Kwan Lam Law, Celina Wing Yi Lee, and David Wilck Ka Wai Leung

Chapter 9    Wikis as Learning Management Systems for Computer Science Education in Intermediate and Secondary Schools



by Rebecca Reynolds

Chapter 10    Wikis in History Education at the Upper Secondary Level



by Alexander König and Jan Hodel

Chapter 11    The Use of Wikis in German Secondary School Teaching



by Beat Knaus

Chapter 12    Using Wikis for School Management



by Niklaus Schatzmann

Chapter 13    How to Find the Best Wiki for Varying Purposes



by Beat Dobeli Honegger and Michele Notari

About the Editors


Michele Notari

Michele Notari is professor for educational technologies at the University of Teacher Education in Bern, Switzerland, and was an honorary assistant professor in the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. He has published articles in key journals in the area of technology-enhanced learning, along with a book and several book chapters related to collaborative learning using participative technologies. He is editor of a special edition of the Journal of Educational Research and Evaluation and is a board member of Wikisym (the international symposium on open collaboration), the international Conference on Mobile Learning, and the International Mobile Learning Festival. He holds a PhD in education, a master's degree in biology and computer sciences from the University of Berne, and a master's degree in educational technologies from the University of Geneva. His research focus is on using participative technologies for formative assessment and effective collaboration.

Rebecca Reynolds

Rebecca Reynolds is an assistant professor of library and information science at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey. Her research investigates middle- and high-school student inquiry, collaboration and creation during project-based learning with technology in schools, and the design of information systems to support successful learning outcomes. Her research is funded by an Institute for Museum and Library Services early career development grant. Her work has been published in many different conference proceedings and journals in the learning sciences and information sciences, and she has written a book coauthored with S. K. W. Chu and Michele Notari on inquiry-based learning. She holds a BA in sociology from Tufts University and an MA in media studies and Ph.D. in mass communication from Syracuse University, with postdoctoral work completed in information studies.

Samuel Kai Wah Chu

Samuel Kai Wah Chu is the head of division of information and technology studies and an associate professor at the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong. He is also the deputy director (Centre for Information Technology in Education) in the Faculty of Education of that university. He has published over 170 articles and books, including key journals in the area of information and library science, information technology (IT) in education, school librarianship, academic librarianship, and knowledge management. He is also the author of a series of children's story books. Chu is the associate editor (Asia) for the Online Information Review: The International Journal of Digital Information Research and Use. He is also the Asia regional editor for the Journal of Information & Knowledge Management. Chu has obtained more than 30 research project grants with a total funding of more than one million dollars. His research interests cover the areas of twenty-first-century skills, social media in education, collaborative inquiry project-based learning, digital literacies, school and academic librarianship, game-based learning, and knowledge management and intellectual capital.

Beat Dobeli Honegger

Beat Dobeli Honegger is professor at the Institute for Media and Schools at the Schwyz University of Teacher Education in Switzerland. He holds a PhD in computer science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Z?rich. His research interests cover all aspects of digital media in education: teaching and learning in the transition toward a digital society, strategic and operative information technology management in schools and universities, collaborative writing, digital textbooks, and the didactics of computer science.

"Several practical examples of using wikis in classrooms of multiple age groups and subject areas are given, providing concrete patterns for teachers new to wikis to follow … Any educator interested in implementing a wiki in the classroom would welcome the advice and instruction offered in this book."

"There is so much in this book that can be used by the practicing librarian or by the library school student. For instance, there are chapters on elementary education, computer science education in middle schools and high schools, and using wikis in school management … The book will be a jumping off place for some, or a detailed manual for others."
— Catholic Library World

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