Wiki as Substitute Teacher?

Ten minutes after dropping my younger children off at school this morning, I received a phone call from my 6 year old’s teacher. He had left his backpack in my car and was beside himself. I decided to turn around and drop off the backpack. Unfortunately, that would make me late for my seminar.

As I drove the 50 minutes to school, I decided to try an quick experiment with the class. I called my secretary and asked her to ask the students to call my cell phone, which they did. I told them I was running late, but would get there. I gave them the topic for discussion for class and asked them to get started, taking notes on the wiki so I could see their progress when I arrived. It turned out that I was only ten minutes late, but they had indeed begun the discussion as I could see from the notes.

I suspect it worked well because we have been doing this sort of thing with the wiki all semester, and because they knew I would arrive before class was over. I wouldn’t have tried this in any of my other non-wiki courses this semester.

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