Wikipedia is an online free-content encylopdia. The Wikipedia encyclopedia is written by people all over the world, and anyone who has the knowledge on a topic can add/change or delete the information in the article. (Wikipedia, 2008) Talk about shared knowledge and collaborative learning, this is both of these things in a very large and open space.
I used the wikipedia to do a search on poetry (next terms unit of work) and i came up with a range of resources and useful knowledge that not only will help my students but that will also help me when developing my learning experiences. The article on poetry had a number of fantastic descriptions about all of the different forms of poetry and also some very useful links, that provide examples of different poems. I will definately be using the wikipedia encycolpedia both inside and outside of the classroom.
When using wikipedia inside the classroom, i would implement it a number of different ways. For an introduction into poetry i might use the projector screen and look at the different types of poems while, asking the students to re-write the descriptions into their english books. I might also like to use wikipedia in my rotations and have one group looking up the different kinds of poems and finding examples, to then ask them to write there own poem in that particular style.
Overall i think that wikipedia is a great idea and that it is a very useful tool for anyone who wants to find out new or more information on a topic. However i don't think that it is only a useful tool for students to find out new information, however i think that it would be great to get the students to add there own knowledge to the site once it is gained i.e at the end of the unit of work. How exciting would it be for our students to learn a new body of knowledge about a topic and to be able to display that knowledge for anyone to view over the internet.
I will be using wikipedia in my unit of work for next term and i will keep you posted on how the students respond and how useful it is as a teaching tool for myself.
Reference: Wikipedia, 2008. retrieved from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About on the 17th August, 2009.