Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Wiki page about Knowledge Building

I have made a wiki page with some examples of Knowledge Building. I did this because I wanted to find out more about how teachers work with Knowledge Building in school. So I checked the site Knowledge Building Resources and found out that Chew Lee Teo had recently finished a PhD-thesis with a lot of qualitative data about Knowledge Building. It seemed interesting, so I downloaded the thesis and picked out some examples from the text. I then published the examples on this wikipage. In addition I have found pictures from Wikimedia Commons that illustrate different pedagogical activities. Be aware that the text is a draft version. The English language is far from perfect. There are spelling mistakes. Please feel free to do necessary changes.

So you may ask yourself why I am using Wikibooks. As with all applications there are advantages and disadvantages:

Because it´s quite easy to write together in a wiki. Wikibooks is a website where anyone can produce open-content textbooks which others can download for free or continue to modify and develop. I think it would be interesting for the Knowledge Building community to use some more open production environments where people can work together. This may create both more Idea diversity and coherence in the field. The research discourse has its publishing environments, but maybe text production in wikis can strengthen the practical-pedagogical discourse about Knowledge Building. One goal should be to try and encourage teachers to write about what they are doing.

I am trying to work according to a similar strategy in Norway. This year I have published two textbooks this way, but they are in Norwegian. Hopefully, these books will be rewritten and reused in a variety of ways.The text is published under a free license which permits unconditional reuse and modification as long as the new text is published under the same license.

An interesting feature with Wikibooks is that you can easily convert several wiki pages into a PDF-file or an ebook. You can even buy your own book in a paper version through a print-on-demand service which is called Pedia Press.

When publishing text at this website you also get free access to 14 million media files through the Wikimedia Commons database.

A disadvantage with the design of the wiki page about Knowledge Building is that you have to do a lot of scrolling to get to the bottom to the page. A better solution might be to make a front page that gives you an overview and then you can choose which topics you want to read about in more detail by following different links. Here is an example of a wiki front page related to the science curriculum in Norway.

Wikis are not difficult to use, but not all the coding is that easy if you want to make tables etc.

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