WIKI: Technology Tools in Education System

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Wesleyan University
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The technology sector has been attributed to the current growth in almost all the other sectors. It has had both positive and negative impacts. None the less, the positive impacts of technology have been more evident that the negative ones are to an extent overlooked. The education system has not been left out. Technology has infiltrated the education system in a bid to making learning less hectic. The internet is one aspect of technology that has swept over the education sector. The availability of the internet has attracted a majority of the students, despite their race, color or origin into using the internet for educational purposes. The internet, being so integrated, bears different interfaces that serve different purposes in the education sector. A relatively recent technological tool that has been used in higher education is the WIKI.

WIKI is one of the numerous components of Web 2.0 that can be utilized to enhance the process of learning. It is a web collaboration and communication tool that can be used to engage students in learning with others in an environment that is collaborative. WIKI has various usages and contributions to different paradigms of learning and thus making it an essential component to not only the EFL students but all students in general. This has been aided by the ability of the WIKI to enhance complement, and add the classrooms collaborative dimensions. As Alexander (2006) elaborates, web 2.0 technologies such as WIKIs, blogs, RSS feeds, and podcasts have been referred to as social software as they are connected and allow users to develop content on the Web in a collaborative manner and one that is open to the public. Boulos, Maramba, & Wheeler (2006) have singled WIKIs out as social softwares that actively involve learners in their own construction of knowledge. WIKI has therefore been use by both male and female students.

The male students always have little patience and like thing that come easy and faster. This nature makes them exploit the easiest ways of acquiring something. In this regard, the male students use WIKI in improving their skills of writing English. The use of WIKI in improving their English writing skills must have had them to have different feelings towards it. This research will identify a number of EFL male students in the institution and will give them a questionnaire where they will be required to give their view on their attitude towards the use of WIKI at the undergraduate level to enable them to improve their writing skills. To my knowledge no study has been carried before to rate the attitude of undergraduate students towards use of WIKI as a learning tool. Therefore, this research will be very important and relevant as it will generate new information that can be used to improve the learning in the institution.

This research work will provide vital information that can be used to enable the EFL male students to improve their writing skills using other software also if they have a bad attitude towards the WIKI. To an extent this research will equip both the researcher and the reader with adequate knowledge regarding WIKI. The research is relevant also because it will help the administration come up with a conclusive report from which they can make a sober decision regarding the use of WIKI in the institution in improving the male students skills of writing English. The English WIKI is the largest among databases that have many users. WIKIs have always been used in many academic communities for sharing and disseminating many information across institutional and international boundaries. The trend among many collaborators and industries to place heavy impetus upon educators to make students very proficient in their collaborative work has been on the increase, and this has inspired WIKI to be used more in the classrooms and lecture rooms (Forte 2007). It is not only the schools and the general public that uses the WIKIs. Even the legal professions within governments like in the United Stated the Central Intelligence Agency uses Intellipedia, which is designed to share and collect intelligence. This study is therefore on the right track if its main aim is to ascertain the students attitude towards the use of a WIKI in improving their writing skills.

Significance of the Research

Other people have done research on how the use of the internet affects the writing skills and of most students in universities across the world. Many have stated the negative effects that most students rely too much on the suggestions that would be brought up to them by the word correction software. This reduces their spelling knowledge. There had also been speculation on the quality of the content of the work done by most students. This is because the WIKI providesmuch information available to almost everyone on the internet. This reduces the chances of many people visiting the local library actually to study books that are available and full of first hand written information. This is an argument that has been brewing for decades and as per the current situation, it will not end as soon.

Learning is upgraded when understudies can turn out to be effectively occupied with what they are doing, talk about thoughts with others, and get developmental input all the time (Biggs and Tang, 2007). In view of the discoveries of more noteworthy engagements in studies that utilized the WIKI amid the instructional exercise classes, it may be normal that these studies ought to likewise demonstrate better learning results on evaluated work. In any case, the stamp got on an examination report that was along these lines submitted for summative evaluation did not vary between the WIKI and Individual gatherings. The exploration report submitted for evaluation depended on alternate information set than the practice report, yet had comparable prerequisites regarding information and the content used. The absence of critical contrasts between the gatherings is accordingly not prone to reflect conflict between the instructing and appraisal approaches. Or maybe, the outcomes may mirror that the understudies in every gathering had admittance to different assets to help them finish the surveyed report. Understudies in every gathering went to similar addresses, took after a similar lesson arranges in the instructional exercise classes, and had admittance to an online exchange board.

Scholars and other education experts feel that the internet has led to a dip in the quality of education that the students are offered. It has made students lazy and less creative. Their argument is that the internet is spoon feeding them with information rather than let the students source for themselves in the local libraries. But thinking from a different perspective, this ideology of the scholars and the academic experts can be disputed from different perspectives. First, with the current developments in technology, most publications are now posted online and are available on the internet. Also, the time factor plays a great role in contributing to the use of the internet as it is tiresome strolling in the library corridors in search of a publication that can be sourced in a few seconds by just a click of a button. First, with the current developments in technology, most publications are now posted online and are available on the internet. Also, the time factor plays a great role in contributing to the use of the internet as it is tiresome strolling in the library corridors in search of a publication that can be sourced in a few seconds by just a click of a button. Such are some of the counter ideas that have made this argument on the internet to keep burning.

In light of the connections between the WIKI approach and learning hypothesis, it is not shocking that there are reports of the fruitful use of WIKIs in advanced education (Guzdial, Rick and Kehoe, 2001; Pappenberger, Harvey, Hall and Meadowcroft, 2006). For instance, WIKIs encourage understudy instructor and understudy cooperations (Stahmer, 2006), advance easygoing and adaptable talk (Read, 2005), and permit understudies to work together to direct research and convey their discoveries (Bold, 2006). Be that as it may, Ebner et al. (2008) take note of that most guaranteed triumphs of WIKIs are not in view of upgrades in learning results, but rather were identified with the recurrence of utilization of the framework. Also, many reports of WIKI applications in advanced education comprise of subjective depictions of instructor and students encounters and, by result, need quantitative assessments. One case of an observational review is given by the assessment of a WIKI related configuration named CoWeb (Rick and Guzdial, 2006). The CoWeb approach encouraged learning in English structure, however was less successful in some science, innovation, and arithmetic classes. Understudies in the last classes appeared to have opposed the shared learning approach, provoking the creators to propose that there must be similarity between the classroom cultures, teach culture, and the innovation utilized.

This research, therefore, is significant in that for the first time the attitude of the students who uses the WIKI software will be determined using the views they will give using the data that will be collected. This will enable the parties involved to see the way forward when it comes to using a WIKI in helping students improve their writing skills. It will help a great deal in providing the information required so that the administrators and the relevant boards can make a good decision regarding the use of the WIKI. Being a direct feedback from the users of the WIKI, the report drawn from this research will thus go a long way in providing very important information.

Literature Review

As acknowledged by Alexander (2006), in 1960, JCT Licklider advocated the use of computers that are networked to connect people so as to increase their ability to learn and increase their knowledge. As internet became more entrenched in 2004, social technologies came into fruition.

From a web browser, one can modify the structure and contents of a written text using WIKI. Mastering the art of writing English, especially for students who are not from native English speaking countries requires much practice. The WIKI application helps them make up for their poor language using the help from its rich- text editor. WIKI runs as software. There is very many software that can be used to access the WIKI application making it easily accessible to hundreds of interested users. Some of them are able to work independently while other are part of a system. Some also permit control of different functions which may include, editing, changing, adding or even removing materials from a given text. Even though it is a content management system, it differs from many other systems in such a way that it doesnt have specific owner or leader, and the WIKI has avery little implicit structure which allows users to get structures that meet their needs. (Gray 2010)

The WIKI software was developed by Ward Cunningham who from the beginning described it has the very si...

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