I can’t seem to say enough about the importance of wikis in connecting distance learners for collaborative exercises. – – – Yikes, that sentence is a mess, here’s what I mean:
Connecting – the Web allows for immediate, clear, free sharing of ideas
Distance Learners – an alternative to the standard model where we transport students to a central location, treat them like a faceless mob, and move them from one huge-class to another
Collaborative – the Information Age has led to an Information Glut which is being waded through to reach the Age of Collaboration
Exercises – not lessons, not worksheets, not a person at the front of the auditorium-style classroom pontificating. Exercises are learner-focused activities designed to exercise the learners brain. Problem-Based Learning is an example of this; students are given a problem and told to find the answer(s) – no one is spoon-feeding them in a linear progression toward a final exam.
Wikis – the online place where the teacher introduces the problem, the students discuss the parameters of the problem and work as a team to discover possible answers to the problem