Wiki Writing: Learning About Roles

Lately my teacher candidates have demonstrated their ability to write effectively online. We have been creating e-books using wiki software. This has resulted in some very interesting collaborative work. After the initial adjustment to working this way, a team approach developed where one candidate wrote and the other edited. They took turns doing this and the resulting collaborative writing event proved successful for two basic reasons: (1) "public" writing challenged everyone to think about presentation, and (2) editing could never be relegated to only the one who does it best. How was this done? One teacher candidate explained: "We signed the documents we wrote by saying we were the author or we were the editor. The exchanging of authority as we approached each chapter helped me understand how it feels to be in both of those roles. Teachers need to learn to be editors that understand the struggles of the author (their students) and the editor. This experience in writing was a great insight for me since I've never edited before and I had not seen myself as an editor. Teachers are editors."