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For Education Writers

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 2 months ago


What does education look like, and what will it look like in the near future, given the recent proliferation, and likely continued growth, of conversational media tools in the education environment, especially wikis (which are particularly popular)?


The largest growing segment of wiki adopters (and this may be similar with other social media) is education. A classroom (at least in the US) tends to be a pretty collaborative space anyway, with people conversing, doing projects together and so on. To amplify that already social-learning practice with an online tool like a wiki is a natural progression.

So the story is about that tendency, and about the benefits that real educators have found by using wikis and how the classroom of the future may change, and in other ways be better served in its original mission, by using such tools. It is also a story of finally finding an element of the high-tech revolution that provides teachers with a hands-on pedagogical tool they can employ in the classroom.
This is an era of educational experimentation. Conversational media, that allow the free exchange and collaborative authorship of ideas, have proven especially interesting to educational professionals and their students. A large group of innovative educators are using wikis to share information, spark discussion, as workspace for their students and a way to create class projects.

Many of those professionals and their students have chosen PBwiki as their wiki provider.

PBwiki, the world's largest wiki host, is a very lean business which just received a significant capital investment from Mohr Davidson Ventures, in large part due to their extraordinary popularity not just with individuals and businesses, but with students and teachers. 160,000 wikis have been created using their software and service, 30,000 of which are educational. The company has an educational advisory board of 50 educational professionals.

There are a few additional elements: For one, despite a somewhat saturated market (wiki providers) PBwiki got several millions in investment. Why? Because it's got such a prominent educational user base, and there is a lot of growth in that area.
Among the great stories produced by PBwiki's educational users are:

  • Penn State's mandatory intro English class run on a PBwiki: CAS100B: http://cas100b.pbwiki.com/
  • An elementary school that uses a PBwiki--the kids write it: Room 15: http://mrlindsay.pbwiki.com/
  • A collective of architecture schools, uses a PBwiki to track and promote efforts to rebuild Nola's Seventh Ward:
  • Rebuilding the Seventh (collaboration of architecture schools' work in New Orleans): http://7thwardbag.pbwiki.com
Other educational examples:
PBwiki General Links

For writers who focus on libraries and library science, please see our Library Page.

If you are an educator and would like to write about your experiences in using wikis in education, please visit our PBwriters page.

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