On the subject of lurking and Wikis in the Classroom


Jacob Nielsen, apparently a guru in all things Internet has an article on ‘Participation Inequality: Lurkers vs. Contributors in Internet Communities.’

Suffice to say I don’t feel so bad about being a lurker.  I’m part of the vast majority.

According to Nielsen’s rule of 90-9-1, 90% of internet users read only, 9% respond occasionally and 1% of users are responsible for most contributions to interactive sites.  He lists a number of incentives that might be employed to entice us – the lurkers, to post responses.  I’m working on it.  To read his ideas follow this link.


Wikis In the Classroom

Wikis can open up our classrooms and give us a wealth of resources to access.  They have the  potential for students and teachers alike to work and learn collaboratively, subject to the design and nature of the tasks that are set.

Currently in my role as a Visual Art’s teacher Wikis could be used to;

  • Link my students to virtual art tours.
  • Collaboratively search for examples of Art elements in works of art around the world.
  • Create a group project exploring a particular artist linking to sites to view the artist’s exhibited work.
  • Post student artwork in an online exhibition.
  • Research artists working in particular mediums.
  • Create online artworks.
  • Work as a forum to discuss mutual art interests.
  • Encourage students to follow artistic pursuits by interacting with like-minded students.

I was surprised that wikis have been around for over ten years and yet they are still being talked about as a new and innovative tool in education sectors.

There were opposing views about the credentials of wikis as an authoritative source of information.  I liked the suggestion that wikis fire off the search and give students/researchers a starting point in their research.  The problem seen with wikis and Wikipedia in particular is  the lack of credentialed research with authentic primary and secondary sources cited.

A problem encountered by many teachers trying to utilize Web 2 technologies is the lack of good, timely technical support and the restrictions placed on setting up software or downloading from the internet.

A great example of a teacher making use of Web2 technologies is Kathleen McGeady from Leopold PS.  She has created a newsletter in collaboration with Simon Collier to encourage teachers to make use of mainly free Web 2 software for classroom use.

Teachers can sign up to have it emailed each week.



I’m still lurking on this site.

An eg of some Web 2 tools suggested on Tech tools to use in your wiki or blog


Useful sites to use in the classroom.




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