This post is about my wiki with EFL students. Actually it's a post about my EFL students after using the wiki for a month.
After a month using it, I would say we have just dipped our fingers into the wiki pool. The real time of wiki exposure in class has been 6 hours at the school lab. Our lessons are twice a week, 2 hours each.
So far I have been focusing on and hoping they learn three things:
1) They can publish their work. (Although there is a shyness to press the save button as if they could not edit again ever).
2) Tags bind same tasks together and allow them to quickly access a classmate struggling with the same writing problem. (Mind you, to edit tags, to understand the need to use a comma or hit enter to teach the machine exactly which tag they mean is taking... well, a month. The wiki even gained a "wicked wiki" fame because of mis-tagging/not-finding frustration).
3) The wiki is a heritage project. They can read what my students have been writing since 2007. They can find real models from the past and among present classmates easily. They have just tried opening discussions to chat about what they read and find worth mentioning in others work.
I consider this simply basics. A simple socialization of students writings. With a bit more work, it could have been done on paper. This is not yet close to my expectations of wiki use.
To begin with the talk, the presenter asked my students if they knew what a campus is. One of them answered very confidently:
"Yes, it's a place where we get in, we share and help each other learn".
After the presentation, students understood that within the LMS they will be working individually, becoming responsible for their own performance, results and follow-up of the process. They liked it. Back in the classroom, though, they wanted to make sure the wiki was still going to be used as well as the LMS. I heard them detailing how much they valued 1 and 3 above (in spite of 2).
For the last two weeks I had believed we were being slow to adapt to the wiki. I felt the overwhelming sensation that more creative uses of the tool would have us all stuck at a misunderstood tag. I wondered how much more time would have to be spent on publish/tag/link basics. When will they get to explore the notify-me tab? How to strike up a meaningful conversation about RSS?
However, all of those are surface structure observations.
Deep inside they have been changing a mindset of individual learning to a socialized one. They have tasted enough to value it. They have been taking it slowly indeed. But they haven't done anything they were not believing in yet. Mindset before toolset. This is the important lesson I learnt yesterday. I need to be more patient for my wiki-fied dreams.
This is a post about my wiki. Wait, no. Our wiki. This is a story of how I learnt because they learnt.
Labels: corpuswiki, efl, learning, LMS, MEC, wikispaces