Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wikis - WetPaint

In the Information and Communication Technologies learning outcomes by the Queensland Studies Authority, it gives many different expectations and guidelines of what students should be doing in regards to technology throughout different stages of their education. In just one section it states: “Students explore and experiment with the use of a range of ICT functions and applications. They develop the knowledge, skills and capacity to select and use ICTs to inquire, develop new understandings, transform information and construct new knowledge for a specific purpose or context. They communicate with others in an ethical, safe and responsible manner. They develop understandings of the impact of ICTs on society.” (QSA, 2009). From reading just these few statements along with the outcomes/essential learnings, it made me realise just how all of the different technologies that we have been encouraged to look at, play around with and discuss in our Blogs, truly do fit with education. It also identified to me, the importance for us (teachers) to share the different resources and technologies (that we discover and learn to use) with students to give them many opportunities to demonstrate the many different technology outcomes/essential learnings.

The Wiki that I have created using WetPaint, is a test one (that is quite bare, however it gives you an idea of what I am referring to in this blog post). I decided to create this Wiki to suit the class I am currently laced with now – Grade 3. Their unit is currently focused on Life and Living, particularly looking at the life cycles and environments of Australia native animals. Because Wiki’s are a great way to communicate, collaborate and are very easy to add to and to change around, I thought that this would be a great technology tool for students to learn throughout the unit of work as individuals and share their learning with the whole class. The students are able to add new information they find and learn based on the unit topic.

For, more structure on the Wiki, at the start of the unit, the teacher could conduct a KWL and place all the students’ responses on the Wiki. Students can then add to the K (what they know), W (what they want to know) and L (what they have learnt) sections as the unit progresses. On the Western Australian Department of Education and Training, it identifies the benefits of using wikis in classrooms. It states that “wikis encourage group social interaction and collaboration and support asynchronous communication allowing users to contribute at a time, and from a place that suits them. Many students find that their learning is most effective when they are actively involved in the construction of their knowledge.” (Western Australian Department of Education and Training, 2009). If students are given the opportunity to communicate and share (through the use of Wikis) what they discover and learn, students may take more of an engaged and active interest into, and enjoy their many different learning journeys with their peers while at school.

The WetPaint site I have created is available by clicking on this link.


Queensland Studies Authority. (2009). Information and Communication Technologies, Cross-Curricular priority by the end of year 3. Retrieved July 23, 2009, from

Western Australia Department of Education and Training. (2009). Wikis in the Classroom. Retrieved on July 23, 2009, from

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