I took my professors advice and started subscribing to my own RSS feeds, blogs, wiki and Flickr feeds. It's interesting to see what others see when they subscribe to your feeds.
After doing some editing on the AprilBrown wiki I received an email from Wikispaces. I decided to have every notification turned on so I could see what was happening. I've never added to a wiki or edited one before. To turn on these notifications go to Manage Wiki<Tools<Notifications. Click which email notifications you want to receive. As you can see I wanted them all clicked so that I could see every change that happened.
I am also subscribing to the RSS feeds so I'm getting any updates to my Google Reader. Wanting to see what others are seeing is one way to help me utilize this tool.
Here is the email notification I received when I edited it as a guest.
The red highlighted areas are deletions I made and the green highlighted areas is content which is staying on the wiki. This is pretty neat to see what changes have been made. It gives a completely different perspective on my thinking about a wiki. It doesn't just have to be you adding content but others as well. For educational purposes, I can see how these email notifications can help students. Your edited work is visible for you to see. Therefore, it gives you an opportunity to improve your writing skills. The person who edited your writing may have added ideas or more insight that you hadn't thought about.
How could this be used in a primary classroom? I think it would be perfect for developing writing skills. A narrative piece of writing could be started by the whole class and student could go in and add content to the story but they could also go in and add details, strong verbs, adjectives or any thing that may be needed to make the piece of writing stronger. Guth (2007) states,
When editing a public wiki, students must critically read what has already been written by people they do not know, paying close attention to content, structure and style in order to see what needs to be modified or added and how to write contributions.
Teachers are wanting their students to read and think critically. Contributing content to a wiki allows for this important skill to develop. This is an area where I am also working towards.
Being able to see the changes as the administrator allow you insight into where students made changes, you could then go back and ask them why those particular decisions were made.
The more I play with this tool, the more I am beginning to see how it could be used for collaboration. I think my grade two's will be learning to add to a wiki very soon.
Guth, S. (2007). Wikis in education: is public better?. WikiSym ’07. doi: