Walking a Wiki-marathon style!

I was looking for online student worksheets in relation to the nature and content of wikipedia. After adding a tweet on twitter last night, I had no responses at all. So I have had to develop my own.

Last week, I was rather startled  when my year 11 students said they had not heard of wikipedia. As years 9 and 10 are working on the current  digiteen  or flatclassroom projects, they need to understand what a wiki is and what better way, than to walk the biggest wiki of all – wikipedia. So, here is my proposed worksheet for that class. If you have any extra ideas, edits etc please add a comment and if you wish to use the sheet, please feel free to do so.

As part of the various flatclassroom projects, we will be using and working with wikis. The most famous of all wikis is wikipedia. Goto wikipediea and we shall take a walk – marathon style!

  1. Describe what you see on the startup page. Why has this been necessary?
  2. Choose the language and look at the home page. Break down and summarize what you can see,  ie all the elements on that page. (eg what tabs, links etc are there, what is in the main section)
  3. Who has written or put together wikipedia?
  4. How was this be done? Explain in full.
  5. Why has it been done this way?
  6. Spend 5 minutes or so, checking out the site to find what you else you can discover. Write down the findings of this research.
  7. Describe the writing style and the digital literacy used.
  8. The swine flu is in the news as of late. Is it mentioned on the wiki yet? 
  9. Check out the swine flu page. Describe what you see here?. What is being advised on this page? Why? Who added the latest entries? How often has it been edited today? How did you find that out? Who wrote those entries? Were they discussed?
  10. What links did you use to answer the questions in section 7.
  11. After this research explain what a wiki is, in your own words and add any cautionary advice for your readers.

Remember always cross check with another source for the validity of wikipedia edits. Here a newspaper was hoaxed by student wikipedia uploads.

Three of the most popular wikis used in  education are:-

  1. wikispaces
  2. wetpaint
  3. pbwiki

Look at each one and summarize what they offer. Look at any demonstrations that are offered. Are they mentioned in wikipedia? Which one would you choose? Justify your choice.

4 responses to “Walking a Wiki-marathon style!

  1. That is fantastic outline. I hope to be able to do something along those lines with my Year 10 Media… just waiting for some connection to the outside world – networking the macs is posing a challenge.
    Great inquiry approach. Sorry didn’t see the tweet the other night. Interesting the kids hadn’t heard of wikipedia, it seems to be the most regular find in searches. Will you be taking them through adding to wikipedia?
    Great getting the latest trend in there too. Interesting discussions have been had in my circles on the earthquake here too, and how quickly the news filtered through on twitter and how slow the traditional news was.

  2. This is a great way to introduce students to the conceptual framework of a wiki.

  3. Marlene Johnshoy

    Just a note that PBwiki (my favorite wiki!) as of yesterday has changed its name – it is now PBworks!

  4. Didn’t see your tweet and not sure whether this might help (it might be more geared towards a teacher audience) but here’s a fact sheet that could be helpful: http://www.educause.edu/ELI/7ThingsYouShouldKnowAboutWikip/161666

    I have a feeling your students will pick up the wiki concept very quickly!

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