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This page is part of the Proceedings of Wikimania 2006 (Index of presentations)

What would a wiki kind of school be like?

Authors Carolina Ramos, Luis Fagundes
Track Wikis in Education
License GNU Free Documentation License (details), Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike (details)
About the authors
Carolina Ramos is an educator at Lumiar School. Graduated in Pedagogy, she is a Democratic Education activist and cofounder of IDEB - Institute for Democratic Education in Brazil.
Luis Fagundes wrote his first computer code at age of 6. After studying mathematics at University of Sao Paulo he had a short business career developing software. He then became a free software and wiki activist and joined pedagogy course at same university. Now he works at IPTI - Institute of Research in Information Technology - and develops collaboration software for Culture Ministery in Brazil.
Internet, wiki culture and commons-based peer-production are changing the way society produces and distribute knowledge. While the wiki has helped this paradigm change rapidly for informal learning in the last 10 years, movements aiming to change the school from its roots, like Democratic Education, Free Schools and Homeschooling, have been around for almost a century.

Many educators realize wiki experiments in the classroom to reorganize their way of teaching, offering students more freedom in their own learning process. Even though, the school's structure itself replicates the traditional, centralized and consumerist way of producing knowledge, and in doing so prevent students from developing such autonomy as seen in a mature wiki community and from assuming management of their own learning process.

While those teachers in traditional schools, whose work's focus is expected to be on content taught, have difficulty to introduce an autonomy-based culture in the classroom, educators at alternative schools, that focus on freedom and autonomy, have a big challenge to supply contents taught by traditional schools and required by law. Facing this problem educators at Lumiar, a democratic school in Sao Paulo, Brazil, started to use a wiki in their processes 2 years ago, and expect this tool to play a key role in the near future.

In this discussion we'll show how far can a school's structure be transformed, look at several education-related wiki experiences, trying to understand the educational nature of wikis and how can its culture be effectively incorporated by schools.

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