Using Web 2.0 in the English Classroom

Digital Book: The Wild, Wild Wiki

Wiki Lore and Politics in the Classroom by two English teachers.

Wiki: Romantic Audience Project

Wiki: Romantic Audience Project 2

Using Wikis in the Classroom from Hamline University

For example, …a Rhetoric and Composition Wikibook (Barton, 2006) that share different aspects of learning to write in college: the composing process, writing different types of writing, editing, writing in different disciplinary areas, etc. These students were motivated to share their experiences with first-year college writing courses because they knew that future students would benefit from insights on how to grapple with the challenges of learning to write in college. And, given the challenge of college students deciding on courses to take, students at Brown University created a wiki for providing reviews of different course in a school or college, as did (

To help students adopt a critical stance related to considering what or how to revise a wiki, you may model question-asking responses to a wiki text to determine necessary revisions:

– “What is the text trying to say or do?”

– “Who is the intended audience?”

– “What descriptions or concepts that are not clear?”

– “What revisions would serve to clarify these descriptions or concepts?”

– “What points are being made and is their sufficient evidence or support for those points?”

– “What additional information is needed to provide needed evidence or support?”

How Do I Set Up A Wiki For My Classroom?

How can you set up a wiki for your classroom? There are a lot of different wiki hosting sites available for you use (@ = Wiki hosting). Tim Stahmer (2006) describes three different options for setting up wikis that range from free, uncomplicated to more commercial, complicated options:

Free “wiki farms.” The first option consists of what are described as free wiki hosting sites or “wiki farms” that are easy to set up, although they may have advertising and have limited features, sites such as Wikicities (, WikiSpaces (, PBWiki (, JotSpot (, UseMod (, or WritingWiki, Wikispaces, Seekwiki, Project Forum (, EditMe, TikiWiki, (,, or WetPaint.

One of the most popular of these options is PBWiki given its ease of use, one reason we selected it to use for this book’s resource site.

Students could also reflect on the often-challenging process of engaging in collaborative work. Ferris & Wilder (2006) suggest some questions related to issues of ownership and authorship tied to traditional print based texts:
*How does it feel to have the part(s) of the story you worked on changed?
*Who “owns” the story?
*How do you make changes while respecting the efforts of your co-authors?
*How do you justify the changes you want over the changes your co-authors want?
*How do you negotiate final changes and/or disputes over how the story should be changed?

Rhetoric and Composition Wikibook could easily be used as a textbook if the class had access to computers immediately. And they could edit it as they went along, finding ideas that worked well and others that didn’t.

I edited it while I was looking at it. I thought I could add something useful to the discussion.

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