Wikis, Blogs, Podcasts, OH MY!



Wikis can be used for numerous purposes and by educators, businesses, and organizations. A wiki is a collaborative effort, where anyone can edit, delete, or modify content (Esichaikul, Win, Bechter, & Rehman, 2013). Individuals need nothing more than a browser and internet access to participate.

Wikis can be utilized in the e-learning environment for group assignments between instructors and learners and are considered beneficial for knowledge sharing. One method for utilizing a wiki in 21st Century learning is through a class or group project. One method would be to create an assignment requiring class individuals to create a useful study guide (Lending, 2010). Components of the assignment would require a main page which each student would edit and add to. Additionally, each student would create their own page and link to their page from the main site. Finally, they would also be required to edit and review each others pages.

Informal learning occurs outside of a structured learning environment and does not lead to formal qualifications (Mulder, 2013). Businesses and educational institutions can create wikis for strictly for informal learning when no structured learning or qualifications will be taking place and the primary purpose is informational. Formal learning wikis, such as those created in the classroom, can in turn become informal when they are used outside of formal learning. They can be created on specific subjects to be used as references when individuals need them or are just curious about different topics.

According to Wikibooks (2013), starting a wiki should begin with extensive research to check if the topic already exist on a suitable wiki site. Next, you need to determine the reason and purpose for the wiki. Once you have established the purpose, you can begin searching for a host or someone to manage your server which can be accomplished through a simple internet search. Wikis are designed for collaborative efforts, so be aware that individuals will be able to edit the page. Try to welcome others in to read, add, delete, and edit the site to enhance its purpose and validity!

To learn more about wikis in education visit:

Appalachian State. (n.d.). Using wikis in education. Retrieved from

University of Deleware. (2008). Wikis in higher education. Retrieved from

Wiki Education Foundation. (n.d.). Wiki Edu. Retrieved from


Esichaikul, V., Win, M. A., Bechter, C., & Rehman, M. (2013). Development and evaluation of wiki collaboration space for e-learning. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 26(5), 536-552. doi:

Lending, D. (2010). Using a wiki to collaborate on a study guide. Journal of Information Systems Education, 21(1), 5-13.

Mulder, R. H. (2013). Exploring feedback incidents, their characteristics and the informal learning activities that emanate from them. European Journal of Training and Development, 37(1), 49-71.

Wikibooks. (2013). Starting and running a wiki website/overview. Retrieved from

Blogs via WordPress


WordPress is a site that allows individuals to create a blog. A blog is a collection of blog posts, information, or opinions written by one or more individuals. Blog posts are kept, usually chronically, and are not updated or changed (Kien-Weng Tan, Jin-Cheon, & Theng, 2011). Individuals can contribute through comments posted to each blog post.

Blogs can be utilized in learning through a number of ways. Instructors may find it beneficial for relaying assignments to their students, students can then post comments related to the assignments and the instructor can reply (Zhang, 2013). Additionally, students may find it beneficial to blog about what they are learning and apply it to real world examples. Students will become more familiar with technology and learn communication skills.

In a formal education setting, blogging would be beneficial to take the place of traditional class forums (Zhang, 2013). Educators who create a blog and use it to pose assignments will be not only teaching on the class subject; but also teaching about technology and its benefits in the classroom. In a more informal method, educators may find it beneficial to create blog posts related to the material to help students learn and understand better (Zinger & Sinclair, 2013).

Getting started is simple! Once you know what you plan to blog about, select a blog site such as WordPress, and sign up for a free account. Now select your template or build your own, next start typing. It is as simple as that! Your thoughts, ideas, and assignments can flow from mind to fingers and online. You can attach photos or embed videos, and link to outside sources. You can post blogs as often as you like and respond to comments left by your followers or students. Whatever your purpose, a blog allows you to communicate with every one.

To learn more about blogs in education visit:

deLaBruere, L. (2005). Action research: Blogging in education. Retrieved from

Teaching and learning resources. (2012). Blogs in education. Retrieved from

Walsh, K. (2010). Blogging in education today. Retrieved from


Kien-Weng Tan, L., Jin-Cheon, N., & Theng, Y. (2011). Influence detection between blog posts through blog features, content analysis, and community identity. Online Information Review, 35(3), 425-442. doi:

Zhang, S. (2013). An empirical study of the factors affecting weblog success in higher education. Journal of Information Systems Education, 24(4), 267-279.

Zinger, L. & Sinclair, A. (2013). Using blogs to enhance student engagement and learning in the health sciences. Contemporary Issues in Education Research (Online), 6(3), 349-352.

Podcasts, Do you hear me now?


A podcast is a program that can be downloaded and played back for the listener. Podcasts support auditory learners or individuals who prefer listening (DeSarkar, 2012). Podcasts are typically recorded in episodes or sessions and are released over the Internet for download.

Podcasts can be useful for educators who record their lessons and provide them to their students. Each lesson that is recorded allows students to listen as many times as they desire. While feedback is limited in this type of technology, students will still be able to contact their instructor with questions. Additionally, educators who record their lessons can provide them to students who may miss class or not located locally.

Podcasts can be used informally in many different ways. Simply recording each class session and making it available online allows individuals outside of the formal learning environment to gain access and learn. Podcasts can also be created specifically for informal learning, individuals may wish to create them just for no specific reason at all and release them.

Creating a podcast requires your voice, a method of recording, and a computer to release your podcast. Begin by selecting your topic, create a script, and start recording. The benefit is that you can record as many times as you want until you obtain your desired creation. Next, determine where you want to upload it, for educational purposes uploading to the library or to your class site is optimal, but may limit who has access. Placing it on a blog or other more public site will allow others to gain access and listen in!

To learn more about Podcasts in education visit:

Educational Technology Network. (2009). Classroom podcasting/vodcasting. Retrived from

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. (2016). Teacher’s guide on the use of podcasting in education. Retrieved from

Podcasting-in-Education. (2016). Podcasting-in-education. Retrieved from


Baker, R., Harrison, J., Thornton, B., & Yates, R. (2010). Podcasting in higher education: Does it make A difference? American Journal of Business Education, 3(6), 7-10.

Besser, J., Larson, M. & Hofmann, K. (2010). Podcast search: User goals and retrieval technologies. Online Information Review, 34(3), 395-419.

DeSarkar, T. (2012). Introducing podcast in library service: An analytical study. VINE, 42(2), 191-213.

Donovan, J. (2014). How to make a successful podcast. Retrieved from


Wikis, Blogs, and Podcasts are not necessarily known as education sources; but what this guide has shown us is that they are great education sources and have many uses! A big part of learning is the ability to come together and learn from each other, these three technologies allow for that collaboration and connection to happen. Anyone can use these to teach or education others about any topic they want, the amazing thing is that you do not have to be a formal educator or business to use these technologies!


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