blog? wiki? discussion board? listserv? etc.?

I had the privilege yesterday to speak about blogs and wikis in Blackboard during a session of GS630 – Instructional Technology. Excellent questions emerged about the tools and their uses as compared to other potential tools inside and outside Bb. When do you use a blog? What about a wiki? Wouldn’t a discussion board be the same thing? And why not just use the ol’ listserv?

It boils down to this: What works and elicits the desired responses from your students for your course? Yes, it’s that simple. There are too many tools out there to even begin thinking about using them all, and many do overlap in function. Need proof? Here it is: Be afraid.

There are so many tools, that the lines have become blurred. Someone introduced me to Weebly as a wiki. But it’s really not. It’s more of a Web page builder. But it’s possible Weebly may have wiki functions in the future, allowing multiple authors for pages. That’s just one example.

Dr. Stephanie Reynolds, one of my Blue 2.0 participants, came up with a succint statement about blogs and wikis: “I think that blogs are best for sharing thoughts and ideas; I think wikis are best for sharing information and resources.” That’s a good line to draw, since blogs are mostly one way (ideas out, only comments back in) and wikis are group projects (multiple editors with the potential for constant change to text, design, media,etc.). The discussion board in Blackboard is certainly another way to go for idea exchanges (one comment at a time on a larger idea, with comments possible on comments). It really just depends upon what lends itself best to your subject and your students (and yourself!).


3 Responses

  1. Thanks, Patsy. I’m always gathering new tools from your blog.

  2. Greetings!

    I am having a mid survival crisis. I am in my early 40’s and looking to compel a couple of friends online. I’m kind of a sole lady and I’d be proud to run across new people.

    Yeap, I characterize myself as I am too old to do this stuff, but anyways I want to give it a shot.

    I use Mac and PC computers (in actuality I have 2 of each; yes I am freaky 🙂

    I also like webdesigning, photoshop and adobe fireworks!

    Any suggestions, where to start?

    I wish you all a wonderful day!

    Thanks in advance… and see you around

  3. You might look at starting simply with a Facebook or LinkedIn profile, networking among your friends and then spreading out. (You’ll probably be surprised at how many people you know who are already on one or both.) Then take a look at WordPress or Blogger as a potential site for creating your own blog, where you can share your work and ideas. You might also look at Creative Commons to stamp your work with just how much sharing you care to do (or how much you wish to retain rights to). Jump in! I myself am in my mid-40s, and I am definitely not too old. 🙂

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