Blogs and Wikis:


Blogs and Wikis are a great way to show learning and student voice for any age group, but need to be used appropriately.

For those of you that don't know, a blog is a web log, and is shortened to a blog; Which explains why it is recorded in chronological order. Wikis, are very similar to a website, and can have pages or folders, as some people call them. These can be accessed through the navigation space on the left hand side of the wiki. Wikis can be made so they are open to the public or protected and can only be edited by members. Blogs are similar in the way that you can have members, but you cannot have it open to everyone.

Although these web2.0 tools might be very intriguing, there does have to be some safety boundaries if you are using it for education purposes, such as a classroom etc. You will need to make sure the language on the wiki or blog is appropriate and also be aware of how much personal information is being let out. These guidelines need to be put in place because this is all on the world wide web and can be accessed by anyone. Teachers may also want to keep an eye on the comments of the space and delete any that are unnecessary. Lastly you need to show your kids the importance of being safe on the internet, and maybe get a local policeman/woman to come in and talk about web safety. If you follow all of the above, I'm sure you'll have no problems with safety. Make sure you do not embed a chatroom onto your blog or wiki, and if you do make sure you ask the parents first and tell them what is happening.

A nice thing to add to your site is a clustr map. It is a fantastic way to know that you are getting views and is very encouraging to know the amount of visitors you are having daily.

If you are just using a wiki or blog as a personal space, then use it appropriately and again, remember the responsibility of it being on the world wide web, meaning that anyone can access it.

Overall Blogs and Wikis are great for education purposes, and for recording a web log, but the main point in this post is to use it safely!

See the below website for great tips to customizing your blog or wiki:
Wiki: http://gettingtrickywithwikis.wikispaces.com
Blogs: http://cogsforblogs.blogspot.com

The following was originally published April 10, 2008 at http://jess-myvoice.blogspot.com/2008/04/student-voice-blogs-and-wikis.html