Are you and your students simply consumers of knowledge?

Would you feel better about your work (and would your students benefit) if they, and you, became contributors?

Are your textbooks entirely up to date? For example, does your astronomy material reflect the current status of Pluto?

Do your textbooks have easily-to-use links to multimedia content?

Are your textbooks localized? Is there some aspect of some historical event that happened in your town or region, one that isn’t extensively discussed, or maybe not even mentioned?

Some or all of these questions might be answered if you become involved in creating Wikitexts, co-written by students and school staff (others by invitation, local experts?). Wikitexts are probably best considered as extensions or supplements to the standard text. They could be as simple as a homework helper to which students contributed their researched answers to a teacher’s assignments. Students would be better prepared for the follow up discussion by comparing the submitted “answers” in the wiki to their own research results. Maybe you could encourage students in an advanced class to provide information to be used in the school’s introductory class.

Here’s a further link to explore, one that takes the issue head on:

http://www.linuxinsider.com/rsstory/63022.html

Notes:

What is a Wiki, anyway? A Wiki is a shared writing/editing environment. Contributors need only have a standard Web browser to access and modify pages of a wiki. The most well-known Wiki collaboration is Wikipedia. People from around the world contribute content to the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

Wikitexts aren’t the same as WikiText. WikiText is the markup system used in Wikis to produce prettier formating (like Web pages).

Questions for your Comments:

Are wikis this the only way? Have you ever done something like this using collaborative editing of your word processor?

Are you a supporter or detractor of Wikipedia?

Do you trust your students to be honest contributors? If not, why?

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