I'm looking to create a collaborative type project for my students and am wondering what would be the best platform for them to use - a wiki or google doc? I'm familiar with google docs but not with wikis. Could someone help me to determine the differences between the two and what situation would be best to use them in? Thanks!

Tags: collaboration, documents, google, wiki

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Wikis are a great idea to create collaborative work in the classrooms. I have created some self-learning resources about using wikis in the class as a part of my Masters project. This Web site is available at http://www.technologymadeeasyforteachers.com. It has video tutorials that give you a demo about different types of wikis and its uses. Please fill out a survey available in the feedback section of the Web site as this will help me to improve my Web site.

Good luck :)
Hi Kendra, I can see you got a lot of replies already, but I just wanted to add that although I like both Google Docs and Wikis, I would rather use wikis in a classroom based project. I have been using Blogs recently with my kids to give them a feel of what its like to get their work published online and the natural progression (for me) is to start using Wikis. I liked wetpaint.com, its quite basic but does the job. Wikis are no different than blogs in terms of simplicity: you just fill in forms and off you go!
Hi Kendra --

I think both are very useful for collaboration, but there is one key distinction that I think needs to be considered before choosing. Do you want students to collaborate synchronously or asynchronously?

If you want students to edit synchronously then you need to use Google Docs because two or more students cannot edit the same wiki page at the same time -- but Google Docs does allow synchronous editing.

If you don't need synchronous editing then you can use a wiki.
Had no idea there was synchronous editing on G Docs.
How is it set up? Is it a menu option?
All you have to do is share the document with someone else and then they can edit at the same time as you.
What problem is the author referring to here?:

...recently received my beta invite to EtherPad, a real time text collaboration tool. So far, I like it. It allows multiple people to edit the same document simultaneously - with none of that pesky document jumping that happens in Google Docs.
http://tektrek.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/etherpad-and-synchronous-te...
There are times when two or more people are editing a Google Doc that the page will "jump" back to the top of the screen. I don't find it terribly distracting myself, but it does bother some people.
From what I can see the notification facility on Docs only works for spreadsheets. A serious shortcoming surely if your students are collaborating on presentations or documents.
I have used wikispaces for collaborative projects and have found them to be great...check out this student created wiki that my classes have been working for the last two years Project 2000
Hi Kendra,

Several people have shared many good points. I'd like to add two pieces to the puzzle:

to organize and then reorganize their work simply by revising the sidebar links (The sidebar is just another wikipage). Google docs is really not designed as a public knowledge base, so you might have trouble building a knowledge collection. I have used the same wikispace in my college classes for 3 years. Each year w use some pages accumulate student work across years, while some pages are "archived" by taking them out of the main page hierarchy.

2. I stumbled upon this by accident, but consider it very cool. You can have your students collaboratively write in a Google document (simultaneously even), copy the document's content, and then paste it into a wikispace page to add to your collection. The formatting, headings, and tables all come over! (Not sure about graphics, thought I doubt the graphics will travel as easily). This means that a hybrid solution may be most appropriate.

Jay Fogleman
I have used wikis in my classroom which allow me to monitor who goes on, when and what changes they made. My students are also able to upload video, photostories, animations and have discussions with each other and me. I also had collaboration between the two schools where I teach. Kids like it because they get to create their own website.
Hi Kendra
I'm unfamiliar with google docs but I use a few wikis in my classes. There are several to choose from. WordPress has quite a good one for education called EduBlogs (you should find it with a search engine). Other ones are pretty easy to find.
I've found wikis work when you can build them into the culture of the classroom; students in my experience see them as work (unless you've got some super-scholars or something) so making it part of homework or assignment work can make sure that they get involved. Once the culture is built then the kids are engaged and the thing is just beautiful to watch.
If you want some ideas I've got a stack of links on wikis at http://www.diigo.com/user/davidhilton/wikis?tab=250.
Good luck!
David.

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