AD/HD and the Wiki

Educators are seeing more and more of their students labeled Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or AD/HD. Individuals with AD/HD may have trouble focusing or concentrating, may seem restless or easily distractible, and may have trouble remembering things. The Web presents barriers for those with AD/HD, but it also can be a huge asset.

Many individuals with AD/HD struggle with daily organizational skills, so the organizational demands of school can present some substantial issues that may even affect an individual’s grade. Technology can assist not only individuals with AD/HD, but it can also assist teachers and parents. One Web 2.0 tool that can ease the organizational demands of school is a wiki. By creating a wiki, teachers are able to store all class information in one easily accessible place. A class wiki can serve as a repository for assignments and their due dates, lesson plans, notes, handouts, tutorials, templates, helpful links, checklists, rubrics, examples, field trip or class trip information, and much more. If the teacher works to create a textbook-free classroom, required reading can also be stored on the wiki; therefore, the students do not have to hassle with remembering their textbooks. Wikis support collaborative learning, so if a student is struggling, he or she can seek support from other classmates. Students can also create their own individual pages on the wiki to store essays, homework, or projects. Parents can access the wiki to see exactly what their children are working on, and they can check to be sure homework or projects have been completed.

Although there are many benefits to using a wiki, there are some barriers. If teachers cannot purchase a premium wiki account, oftentimes the wiki will be plagued with pop-ups. Pop-ups and flashing images can be a huge distraction for individuals with AD/HD. Teachers need to consider the design of their wikis also. Too much clutter can distract all students, not just students with AD/HD. Teachers also need to provide thorough instruction for all students on how to navigate the wiki.