What are the pros and cons of using a Wiki?

Prosdigg_thumbs_up.jpg

  • multiple authors can contribute making collaboration possible at home and school
  • fairly easy to create and edit - can be edited in seconds from any Internet browser
  • safeguards- password protection, controlled access
  • information can be easily re-organized
  • inexpensive/no cost (the internet can be easily accessed at your local library and most school boards already have computers and internet access)
  • can help provide a voice for some of the 'quieter' students in class
  • teachers can monitor changes and track student responses
  • students help to support each other in the learning prcoess
  • can help to boost student engagement/interest
  • can serve to connect students in different classrooms or schools
  • culturally authentic learning products
  • easy to use template for beginners, ease of use for non-code web users
  • members can ask questions, provide answers, share classroom tips and stories
  • multimedia storage space
  • ability to keep track of the history of a document as it is revised and 'roll back' to previous versions through the 'page history' utility
  • can be used to publish new content directly to the web (text, images, hyperlinks)

thumbsdownsmall.jpgCons

  • only one person can edit a page at a time as software is often unable to cope with simultaneous postings - If this is the case how do you accommodate all students in the classroom?
  • spell check seems to be missing
  • "recent changes" only indicate an edit of some sort (add a space, remove a space and save)
  • the value of any edits made by a member cannot be fairly determined
  • can become difficult to navigate between multiple browser windows when conducting research and posting information to the wiki
  • cannot always determine the true value of a student's contribution (i.e. # of posts, length, depth of thought)
  • equitable access to wiki outside the school day may not be possible
  • open architecture makes them susceptible to vandalism and virus attacks - moderators must be vigilant
  • 'design' issues concerning graphics, text organization etc. can sometimes distract from the original purpose of an activity
  • wiki moderator must be responsible for issues of etiquette including personal opinions, inappropriate comments, and the potential for cyber-bullying