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Wiki: A Powerful Tool to Share Knowledge

Module by: Ashwaq Alzamel. E-mail the author

Summary: This project is based on sharing information related to special education. It is a collaborative tool kit where everyone can participating in gathering the information and learning from it. Wiki is a place where experts in special education come together to share knowledge and discuss their perspectives on the latest topics in special education. Parents of students with disabilities can obtain reliable information on special education practices and services. Wiki offers great opportunities for experts of different fields to collaborate and network.

EDUC 550

Spring 2011

Project Title: Wiki: a Powerful Tool to Share Knowledge

Author: Ashwaq Alzamel

Key words: Wiki, knowledge Sharing, Early Intervention, Special Education, Early Childhood, Disabilities, Communication, Technology, Toolkit, Collaboration, Team work.

Summary:

This project is based on sharing information related to special education. It is a collaborative tool kit where everyone can participating in gathering the information and learning from it. Wiki is a place where experts in special education come together to share knowledge and discuss their perspectives on the latest topics in special education. Parents of students with disabilities can obtain reliable information on special education practices and services. Wiki offers great opportunities for experts of different fields to collaborate and network.

Context:

The wiki is mainly focused on special education related topics, such as disabilities, special education services, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

Main Objectives:

  • To share, expand, reuse, and modify special education related Information with other users.
  • To collaborate with other professionals to spread knowledge.
  • To gather different perspectives from around the world on key topic in special education.
  • To incorporate different multimedia elements into knowledge.
  • To engage in discussions on special education topics with other experts.
  • To keep special education information up to date.

Ultimate Goal:

The ultimate goal of this project is to change the way people view individuals with disabilities by spreading reliable and research-based information as well as stories from people with disabilities. The more people are exposed to information on disabilities and the abilities of individuals with disabilities the more accepting of differences the community would be.

Rational For Project:

Through this project, people will collaborate to share information that would change the lives of people with disabilities. People would understand that individuals with disabilities are unique in their own ways and have abilities that can contribute to the society. Ultimately, the world has to include all individuals of all abilities together. That is the true meaning of diversity! This wiki serves as a toolkit for educators, professionals, and parents to find the latest information on working with people with disabilities. This way, parents and professionals know that there is an online community that is willing to find the answer to serve the needs of individuals with disabilities no matter how difficult these needs are! This wiki will bring the community together, the way it is supposed to be.. online and offline..

Users and Target Audience:

This wiki is aimed for special education teachers, general education teachers, parents and family members, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, principles, other professionals, and any person who is interested in learning about special education practices .

Wiki:

Wiki is a collective, open, and dynamic website where collaboratively constructed knowledge and resources are shared and put together with other internet users (Zhang, K, DeLoose, S, 2009).

Power of Wiki in Spreading Knowledge:

  • Wikis are easy to use, convenient, and reliable (Augar, N, Raitman, R, Zhou, W, 2004).
  • Wikis are great communication and collaboration tools that create collaborative environments where individuals are engagingly learning with others (Chao, J, Parker, K, 2007).
  • Wiki is a great tool for professional development as it provides teachers with opportunities to communicate, collaborate, and discuss different ideas about key topics in education (Foley, B, Chang, T, 2007).
  • "Wiki users are not just consumers but also producers of information (Tetard, F, Patokorpi, E, Packalen, K, 2009) .”

The Wiki:

http://aalzamel.wikispaces.com

How does learning occur?

In wikis, learning occurs collaboratively. “Wikiers” have a motivation to learn. Their motivation is to help their child or student reach their ultimate learning potential and participate at school, home, and the community.

In what environment can technology promote learning?

Technology can promote learning across different environments. In this project, learning occurs in both online and offline environments. Wiki participants learn online through reading, discussing, editing, and sharing information. Participants also learn offline through trying strategies in the classroom and . Technology links the online and offline environments together.

What is the process by which technology enhances learning?

Technology is the vehicle of knowledge. Learners use technology as a tool to seek information and be an active member of a learning society. Moreover, technology is the basis of some special education interventions. In AAC for example, there is always a new iPhone app or device to help individuals with speech impairments communicate. True learning happens when learners are motivated to be active in their learning and when they are engagingly learning and collaborating together to share, edit, discuss, and try information and report the results.

References:

Augar, N., Raitman, R. & Zhou, W. (2004). Teaching and Learning Online with Wikis. Retrieved on April 5th, 2011 from: www.psu.edu

Atkinson, C. McBeath, D. Jonas-Dwyer & R. Phillips (Eds), Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference. (pp. 284-293)

Chao, J, Parker, K. (2007). Wiki as a Teaching Tool. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, Vol 3, 2007. Reterieved on April3, 2011 from: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.105.8172&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Zhang, K, DeLoose, S.(2009). , "Wikis" . Administrative and Organizational Studies. Paper 1. Retrieved on April 3, 2011 from: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/coe_aos/1

Foley, B, Chang, T. (2006). Wiki as a Professional Development Tool. Retrieved on April 5, 2011 from: http://www.csun.edu/~bfoley/AERA_Wiki.pdf

Tetard, F, Patokorpi, E, Packalen, K. (2009). Using Wikis to Support Constructivist Learning: A Case Study in University Education Settings. hicss, pp.1-10, 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2009. Retrieved on April 5, 2011 from: http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/HICSS.2009.1015

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