I must admit that making my first wiki, although a bit frustrating at times, was quite enjoyable. The entire time I was working on it, I was trying to figure out a way to use it in my class. My first impression is that when I decide to include wikis, I need to know how to use it...and then train my students to use it properly. I would also need to be able to block some of the contents from being manipulated. Once I can figure that out, the possiblities are endless. But, I must be pragmatic and take it in baby steps. I am not ready to throw out the original teaching tools completely, but a weekly assignment is possible. How could I use this wiki to my advantage? GRAMMAR.
I could completely avoid the horrible 15-30 minutes a week I spend in class on boring grammar assignments, and develop sentences and write poorly written paragraphs and have the class work on it as a whole. Each student would be responsible for correcting two of the problems, and therefore, by the due date, the writing should be perfect. Is there a way to color code the editing marks to differentiate which student made the corrections? Students would then add to the wiki which sentences/errors they were responsible for, or something of the like. I'm sure someone has a good solution to that problem. I would also post urls from the newseducation wiki (or was it a blog??) and have students complete the weekly assignments they offer. The expectations for the students would be to learn grammar. Since they would be able to see all the changes that each student has made, they would become more and more familiar with the conventions of English grammar. If they are encouraged to do this weekly, they would be able to demonstrate understanding of grammar skills such as strong verbs, parallelism, clauses, punctuation, capitalization and paragraphing. If the color coding thing works, I could show the students two transparencies...the before and after, if you will, after each assignment is completed. Repeating exposure to the conventions can only make them better grammarians....and we have such a long way to go.