What are some of the interactive features you can embed in a wiki?

"Embedded in every technology there is a powerful idea, sometimes two or three powerful ideas. Like language itself, a technology predisposes us to favor and value certain perspectives and accomplishments and to subordinate others. Every technology has a philosophy, which is given expression in how the technology makes people use their minds, in how it codifies the world, in which of our senses it amplifies, in which of our emotional and intellectual tendencies it disregards" (Postman, 1996, p. 224).


Embed audio files in the target language to support students with special needs, strengthen listening skills, and focus students' attention on pronunciation.


Provide students with current resources by using the Bookmark feature to import a continually updated list of the websites you have recently bookmarked on a particular topic.

You can also embed bookmarks in other formats using widgets.


Provide up-to-the minute listings of assignments using the embed calendar feature. You can also set up interactive sub-calendars that allow students to sign up for class presentations, etc.


You can hold "virtual office hours" by explaining to students that you will be available to respond to questions via an embedded chat window during certain days and times, or ask two to four students to volunteer to serve as "homework helpers" each night. If no one shows up for a help session, they can chat with one another in the target language for extra practice.


Encourage students to participate in discussions about important ideas by embedding a discussion forum directly on the page.

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Make PowerPoint presentations, practice worksheets, spreadsheets, and study guides readily available to students.


Use images to engage students in talking, thinking, and writing about the target culture and as tools for mediating cognition.



Provide students with easy access to resources by linking web pages with relevant resources to your wiki.

World Language Wiki


Help students learn more about who is reading their work and what is of interest to their audience using tools like these.

Students can also create their own mashups containing photos and information relevant to the content, target countries, and cultures they are studying.


Create playlists of music from the target language related to the content your classes are studying and embed them directly into the wiki. This is a great way to encourage students to use the language and culture beyond the classroom for personal pleasure while simultaneously improving their listening skills.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Navigation Buttons

Embed navigation buttons (by inserting images and linking them to the pages to which you want them to point) to guide students interaction with various pages of the wiki.


RSS Feeds

Using the RSS feature of the wiki, you can set up individual pages to "collect" updated content from discussion forums on other wikis, news feeds, etc., that will be useful to students, such as this feed from the Language Learning and the Social Web blog, or WikiNews (a great example of citizen journalism).

Read Language Learning
Language learning and the social web - a beginners' guide for language teachers

Read WikiNews


    Assess students' understanding and provide them with opportunities to give feedback about an activity or lesson using the wiki's survey tools.

    Tag Clouds

    If you and students are conscientious about tagging your pages, the tags will provide a useful concept map of the content of the wiki, as well as a clickable index to key topics.

    1. administrivia
    2. advocacy
    3. assessment
    4. associations
    5. audience
    6. audio
    7. author
    8. business
    9. calendar
    10. centralization
    11. change
    12. chat
    13. cognitive flexibility
    14. collaboration
    15. communication
    16. community
    17. comparisons
    18. complexity
    19. concept maps
    20. connections
    21. content
    22. convergence
    23. culture
    24. customization
    25. cybersafety
    26. demographics
    27. design
    28. diffusion of innovations
    29. digitization
    30. discussion
    31. disruption
    32. dissemination
    33. distributed cognition
    34. education
    35. embeddedness
    36. engagement
    37. evaluation
    38. experience
    39. feedback
    40. genre
    41. globalization
    42. growth
    43. hypermedia
    44. implementation
    45. international projects
    46. interpersonal communication
    47. interpretive communication
    48. learning environments
    49. literacy
    50. maps
    51. mobile
    52. motivation
    53. msu
    54. multidimensional
    55. multiliteracies
    56. multimedia
    57. multiple representations
    58. music
    59. navigation
    60. non-profit organizations
    61. organization
    62. patterns
    63. pedagogy
    64. perspective
    65. policy
    66. practical applications
    67. presentational communication
    68. productivity
    69. professional development
    70. professional learning communities
    71. proliferation
    72. publication
    73. purpose
    74. research
    75. rss feeds
    76. safety
    77. scaffold
    78. scaffolding
    79. science
    80. social
    81. social issues
    82. social networks
    83. social technologies
    84. standards
    85. structure
    86. synergy
    87. tags
    88. technical information
    89. technology
    90. transformation
    91. transliteracy
    92. visual cognition
    93. wikipedia
    94. wikis
    95. world language
    96. writing


    This video demonstrates just one way students can begin to use the language for their own creative purposes, even with a limited vocabulary.


    Free Buttons. (n.d.). Blur metal. Freebuttons.com. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from http://www.freebuttons.com/index.php?page=freebuttons&buttonName=BlurMetal&color=3

    Postman, Neil. (1996). The end of education: Redefining the value of school. NY: Vintage Books.