Featured L4C Participant:Valerie Taylor

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I consider the WikiEducator users and staff to be colleagues and friends

Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire. ... William B. Yeats, poet

For many years, I have been interested in technology and learning. An ongoing frustration has been creating and sharing information electronically - endless trails of emails, dozens of copies of versions of documents in distribution, inability to easily correct and update information over time.

Wikis R Us

I am fortunate to be living and working in Silicon Valley since 1983. Through friends and colleagues, I am introduced to many exciting advances in technologies for education and training including Wikipedia. This was a great discovery. Here was a tool that could be used for collaboration and sharing information.

Wikis were used for several joint projects that I participated in, so I had experience with several - Wikia, TikiWiki, pbwiki, Wikispaces. I contributed to Wikipedia and Wikiversity. Wikis showed great promise, but it seemed that isolated authors were working as independently as ever. The wikis worked well as content repositories and for content creation but they did not address online teaching and learning. I was asked to present an online workshop Wikis for Knowledge providing an overview of wikis in education for community college faculty in @ONE lunch time webinar series. In preparing for that presentation I was introduced to WikiEducator.

WikiEducator community experience

I was delighted to discover WikiEducator - the open and free wiki space and the community of practice.

The L4C Workshop was a lively and dynamic group learning experience. The workshop was one of the first offered, but even then, it was well developed and the facilitators were knowledgeable, encouraging and helpful. I have since come to consider the WikiEducator users and staff to be colleagues and friends.

For my in-kind project, I wrote some guidelines for adopting open educational resources. This is a particularly important area for consideration. There are many people creating lessons and other educational resources expressly so they can be shared with others. However, many of these resources are not being used. One of the ongoing efforts within WikiEducator and the OER (Open Educational Resources) community is to promote the development of OERs that can be adapted and re-used by facilitators and learners in an effort to reduce the barriers to education and learning.

I was honored to be elected to the WikiEducator Advisory Council. I am looking forward to continued association with this ground-breaking organization addressing the needs of learners globally. This is the power and promise of online education, facilitated by WikiEducator.

Current projects

  • Computers and the Internet in Society - online community college course - students publish their group projects to WikiEducator
  • community service learning - guidelines
  • online group work
  • Technology Supported Learning - faculty development workshop
  • Community Empowerment - promoting community leadership skills training and expanding support for community mobilizers
  • personal learning - Learning4Content, Facilitating Online Communities, Connectivism and Connected Knowledge, Flexible Learning
  • WikiEducator Council

Tom Wright - February 28, 2006
... one of their goals is to get students to see writing as an activity that makes and shares meaning, not as something done to get a grade. ... provide an environment in which students can focus on conveying a message to an audience, which can then respond naturally. ... they're likely to develop the same feeling of community