Author Archives: tharaldsonscience

Collaborative Learning in Wikis

Changa, Y.K., (2010-2011) Collaborative learning in wikis. Education for Information 28, 291–303.

The article Collaborative Learning in Wikis looks at how students use wikis in a collaborative manner and how effective they are when used properly with group classroom assignments.  The use of wikis in classroom assignments are nearly endless and many students prefer to do group work using a wiki because they can be edited and worked on by multiple people and all parties involved can collaborate and work together.  This research looked at group dynamics and how there are five factors which will likely affect the outcome of a group project using something like a wiki. These five factors include: interpersonal and small group skills, positive interdependence, individual and group accountability, promotive interaction, and group processing.  These five factors are useful in determining success in any group project, but especially when dealing with online projects because often times the students may not know each other in online classes and therefore need to have these five things met.  This study found that of the students they surveyed in their polls, most of them responded that they had a positive experience using a wiki for their class project. Most students also reported that the use of a wiki was easy and was user friendly which would allow them to easily get their work done to complete the projects.

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Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Summary

Prensky states that the students in our classrooms are much more different than the people who are in front of the classroom teaching in terms of how they learn and the ways in which they are able to take in information. He gave the two different groups of people different titles; digital immigrants, and digital natives. Immigrants being those people who were not born in a time when technology was not readily available to use at all times and have had to learn over time how to use it. As compared to now, when the use of technology is readily available to the children born, the natives. The natives have been exposed to the use of technology from early on in life and need this to thrive in our school setting.

Another main point that Prensky makes is that there needs to be a switch in the way in which educators teach because students are losing out due to the “old fashioned” methods of teaching which are still being used today. For example, many teachers primarily use the text as their mode of instruction and the natives get “bored” and are not learning the lessons to their full extent.

One final point that Prensky makes is that digital immigrant teachers are able to reach digital native students with some work and effort. He makes several attempts to show how the typical classroom lesson that would be taught by a digital immigrant could be taught to be more appealing to a digital native. I think that overall the switch from the typical lecture based lesson to a more digital native user friendly format is happening more and more across the U.S. and will continue as more resources and ideas become available and ideas are shared.

I consider myself a digital native as I have been exposed to and used computers and other technology based things my entire life. In my current job situation, I was one of three teachers in our district to try out the use of iPads in our classrooms and report back as to what our opinions were on the use of these in a classroom setting. Being a younger teacher in a school that is made up primarily of older (immigrant) teachers, it can be hard to try and convince them of all the beneficial uses of something such as an iPad that many see as only a game or another gadget/toy. I think our district will be implementing the use of iPads in all/most of the classrooms sometime in the near future, but I know it will take some more convincing or some proof that these “gadgets” actually are beneficial to the students learning.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, Retrieved from https://bemidjistate.ims.mnscu.edu/d2l/lms/content/viewer/main_frame.d2l?ou=1719951&tId=13826298

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