Blogs versus Wikis

Differences between blogs and wikis

What is a blog?

A blog (short for weblog) is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs consist of "posts" followed by "comments". Multiple posts often appear together, with the newest posts appearing at the top.

In a blog, a person or a group of persons post their ideas and concepts online. It is a means of expression and is often called an online journal.

Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning ‘to maintain or add content to a blog’.

Someone who keeps a blog is called a blogger.

Origin of blog

The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form "blog", was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.

Shortly thereafter, Evan at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog", meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms.

Advantages of blog

  • Free or inexpensive.
  • Enable educators and learners to expand the learning circle with parents, communities, or even people around the world who has access to the Internet.
  • Provide collaborative learning environment and promote communication skills in some aspects.
  • Blogs create a common goal of participation and help learners develop social skills about teamwork and compromise. Students are encouraged to being authors and develop communication skills, especially in writing and reading. Class activities take place in virtual setting rather than traditional classroom.
  • Offer an easy publishing tool for posting information as well as getting feedback to and from public. Easy to learn and use with pre-designed templates and step by step user guidelines.
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Disadvantages of blog

  • Users can be distracted easily. Once the students get connected with blogs, they also have access to the entire virtual world and can get diverted away from their tasks easily.
  • Plagiarism and copyright issues. The publishers need to take precaution not only to make sure all the postings are original, but also to prevent outsiders from stealing their intellectual properties.
  • Lack of listening and speaking skill training. The activities are mainly conducted in text writing. Not all language skills can be comprehended in blogging related coursework, especially in listening and speaking. Writing may be more casual than traditional assignment and can lead to sloppy writing similar to email or text messaging.
  • Confidentiality and quality concern. All the postings go to public unless the site owner limits the access. It’s time consuming and involves a lot of efforts to maintain the quality of the site quality and keep it on task. Public publication can also result in becoming an easy target for spam or vandalism if not manage properly.

Examples of blogs

  • Teachers personal blogs
  • Class blogs
  • Students blogs

Blogs in Education

Blogs in Education

What is a wiki?

A wiki is a free online writing space that is created and edited by multiple authors.

It is a website which allows collaborative modification of its content and structure directly from the web browser.

In a typical wiki, text is written using a simplified markup language (known as "wiki markup") and often edited with the help of a rich-text editor.

A wiki is run using wiki software, otherwise known as a wiki engine. Some wiki engines are open source whereas others are proprietary.

The encyclopedia project Wikipedia is by far the most popular wiki-based website. Wikipedia is not a single wiki but rather a collection of hundreds of wikis, one for each language.

Origin of Wiki

WikiWikiWeb was the first wiki. Ward Cunningham started developing WikiWikiWeb in Portland, Oregon, in 1994, and installed it on the Internet domain on March 25, 1995.

It was named by Cunningham, who remembered a Honolulu International Airport counter employee telling him to take the "Wiki Wiki Shuttle" bus that runs between the airport's terminals.

Wikipedia became the most famous wiki site, entering the top ten most popular websites in 2007.

On March 15, 2007, the word wiki was listed in the online Oxford English Dictionary.

Advantages of wiki

  • Easy to use and learn.
  • Anyone can edit.
  • The wiki software keeps track of every edit made and there is a simple process to revert back to a previous version of an article.
  • Everybody is working on the same document, there is no need to keep track of different versions.
  • All team members can have access to the wiki anytime and anywhere.
  • Easy to share information, there is no need to send files via emails.
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Disadvantages of wiki

  • Anyone can edit so this may be too open for some applications, especially for confidential documentation. However, it is possible to regulate user access.
  • The flexibility of a wiki's structure can mean that information becomes disorganized.
  • It is opened to SPAM and Vandalism if not managed properly.
  • Requires Internet connectivity to collaborate.
  • Knowledge of some computer language (html) can help troubleshoot problems and make it easier to customize.
  • Overwhelming for teacher to grade if too many entries .

Examples of wiki

  • Geo-wiki
  • WikiAnswers
  • Wikibooks
  • WikiEducator

wikis in education

Wikis in Education

blogs versus wikis

Blogs vs. Wikis