Posts Tagged teacher

Wikis -The Basics

What is a Wiki?  And What does Wiki Mean? 

Wiki wiki is hawaiian for “quick” so a wiki is a quick method of web publication that requires no web coding skills.  It is also an excellent way to collaborate online with people not all in the same room.  Watch the video below for a great visual explanation.

Why use wikis?

They are easy and free!  Wikis are great for quick publication, collaboration, peer feedback, editing/refinement and organizing.

How are teachers using them?  We covered some of them in the post of “It’s a Wiki Wiki World Update”.  Here are a few more ideas:

  • Story Starters – round robin writing
  • Book Creation
  • Choose Your Own Adventure
  • Collaborative Projects
  • Micropedias
  • Ant Farms – people/characters – whose paths cross at certain points and the reader can then click over to the new person
  • Branching Stories
  • Elaboration
  • Class Notes
  • Class/Teacher Web site
  • WebQuest Host page
  • Ready to Begin?

    Here is a quick start guide for the most common tasks in wikis:  Wikis-The Basics

    So to get started I recommend http://wikispaces.com– They offer free ad-free spaces for educational wikis. 

    Just want a place to play around? We have a sandbox wiki that you can change any page, add your own content or just look around.  http://sandbx.wikispaces.com/ – Just be warned that anything you do can be changed by someone else.   

    Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

    Tags: , ,

    It’s a Wiki Wiki World – Update

    I was reading a colleagues blog recently and her post was about focusing on just one thing and learning it.  This made me reflect on my “one thing” this year – the incorporation of wikis into the school.  During the October 8th Staff Development day I introduced wikis to campus.  The basic idea was to have an easy way to create web pages whether it be webquests, teacher collaboration pages, trainings, etc.  So did wikisbecome part of the way we do things?  Withthe year coming to a close I decided to share what some people on campus have done with their new found wiki knowledge.

    TeachWikiThe Beginning:

    http://teachwiki.wikispaces.com/ – I started using wikis in order to keep track of the info I was learning about web 2.0.  I needed a way to keep track of my notes and be able to access them wherever I was.  A nice bonus of using a wiki for this is that others are able to add their own knowledge about topics.  The site has grown to be my home page of staff development notes and a place to collaborate with others to plan trainings and set campus goals. 

    WebQuests:

    Why use wikis for webquests?  These webquests were designed by a team of teachers who needed to be able to add in resources and details from various locations.  It also allows teachers to add in new resources as they go along and clarify instructions as the lesson is implemented in class.

    •  Texas Energyhttp://texasenergy.wikispaces.com/ – This is a 6th grade science project to have students research different types of energy to be used in the regions of Texas.  Students were to create a presentation of their choice to make a recommendation.
    • Bill of Rights Webquesthttp://rightswebquest.wikispaces.com/ – 8th Grade US History – Tying into the novel “The Giver,” students were to explain to the citizens of the book why their amendment was vital to civilization.  Students then put that info on a wiki page.  After each group had completed the research they then used their classmates wiki pages to learn about the other amendments.  Here are some  random class examples:
    • Go Greenhttp://rmsgogreen.wikispaces.com/ – 8th Grade Science – The students job is work in groups and to persuade the government to use that alternative energy source in place of oil. Students have a choice of products to use in your presentation to the government.
    • Welcome to the Worldhttp://welcometotheworld.wikispaces.com/ – 6th Grade World Cultures – Students researched a country to help create their own mini, online encyclopedia through use of another wiki page.
    • Republic of Texas  – http://republicoftexas.wikispaces.com/ – 7th Grade Texas History – Students were to represent one of the many points of view that existed in Texas after the war for independence.  They were then to try to persuade the people of Texas on the issue of Annexation.

    Student Projects:

    Staff Pages:

    Are there others?  Please let me know if I left anyone off the list!

    Ideas for the futures:

    Remember that wikis can be made private and not open to viewing for non-members!

    • Online Staff Collaboration – Examples:
      • Potluck on May 7th– Sign-up for food could be online instead of the traditional work room refrigerator.
      • Chair Massage Time Slots
      • School Supply Lists– Why not collaborate on next year’s supply list through a wiki?  Everyone can see each grade level and know who has requested what.  Easier than tracking emails!
      • Plans for grade level field trips– a great way to keep everyone updated on who is going where and when (not who – that info needs to be a little more inhouse.)
    • Online Staff Development– take the model of the LA department – could more training be offered at flexible times by going online?

     Need to know what a wiki is or how to get started?  A post will be coming soon to help fill you in!

    Tags: , ,