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Thursday, April 1, 2010

VisWiki - Visual Wikipedia

I discovered Visual Wikipedia in early 2009 and really liked it, in fact I had my special education students using it for a time. Then it went offline for a while. Tonight I was happy to learn that Visual Wikipedia is back online as VisWiki.

VisWiki has a great concept and layout that could meet the needs of a variety of learning styles. Visual Wikipedia shows students connections between topics through web diagrams and videos. VisWiki takes Wikipedia entries and then shows a web of related topics. In addition to the web of connections there is a video (often many videos) connected to each topic. Each item on the connections web is linked to more information about that particular topic. Clicking on each link in the connections web also generates a new web about the link clicked. Below you will see the connections web for Economy of the United States.














The video below demonstrates VisWiki in action. The video does not have sound.


Applications for Education
VisWiki could be a great reference source for students in elementary school through high school and beyond. The connections web is a good tool for students to narrow their research from a general topic to a more specific and focused topic. The videos connected to the Wikipedia entries could be very helpful for students that comprehend information better when they can see and hear it.