Around the edublogosphere, a teacher without a wiki counts less than a fireman without a hydrant. I teach. I blog. And yet I don’t use Moodle in my classroom. My classroom isn’t Web 2.0 compliant. My students aren’t podcasting. I can imagine maybe one out of my eighty kids running home to her blog after school but the rest are oblivious to any Internet past their MySpace profiles and Google.
At this early point in my job, I’m fascinated by classroom management and psychology at the expense of everything else, including wikis. My interest in a flatter classroom is also limited by the one (1) computer in my classroom and the narrow (I mean narrow) bandwidth allotted to my better-funded-than-average high school. Even if all my students came MacBook-equipped, however, I’d have one last justification for my wiki-cynicism.
And that’s my commitment to weighing every instructional decision against this ratio:
I’m looking to maximize this ratio and you be should too.
Homework review has a low index in my class. Ten minutes per period spent reviewing 20 problems which ten kids completed and five kids copied, half of which problems could’ve been charitably dubbed “busy work” is of low instructional value.
Assessment has a high index. Twenty minutes per week spent developing a clear sense of a student’s understanding and of a teacher’s effectiveness is of high instructional value.
Let’s skip to the obvious point, one which won’t surprise any hardcore flat classroom educators, but one which they’d better get used to addressing:
I think wiki-ing has middling instructional value.
So maybe my students post solutions to classwork problems to Blogger. Or maybe they analyze common errors on a classroom wiki. I just don’t see how either of those accomplishes anything we couldn’t do in less time together as a class.
If the point is to acclimate them to what will be the essential publishing tools of their day (a cause I can get behind and push), then, shit, will Journalism and English please step up their curriculum, pronto? Otherwise, will someone link up the post I’m missing? Because until someone explains how wikis will increase Instructional Value while decreasing Minutes Expended then I’m content to play wallflower at this party.