Want an easy forum for collaboration? Try a wiki! Wiki means “quick” in the Hawaiian native tongue. Wiki’s have become all the rage in collaboration on the web… Let's watch a brief explaination and think about classroom application:
So you've probably heard of www.wikipedia.com. Yes it is a public information sharing wiki, where anyone can edit and add infomation on many topics. It can, although, be a good source for information and even can be considered credible. Regardless of it's origin, it is a great place to start looking for informaiton or keywords for further research. Not to mention it is usually the first result link from a Google search...
What are some applications for the classroom? Take a look at this article published by the University of Oregon on pages 6-7 for application ideas.
Now you know the basics! Many teachers use this web 2.0 tool as a website or as a forum for collaboration on units, projects, or even literature circles. It can be a way to post and share files or even host a group writing assignment or project brainstorm.
I personally have had a wiki for my classroom and used it as an informational website and also as a way for my classroom to go paperless. The discussion board forum is very similar to an online class format and provides a way for students to communicate their ideas and respond to others in a controlled format under your username. You can create student usernames without emails and students can create a profile and participate on your wiki.
There are many different wiki hosts for education. A few popular ones are: pbworks.com, or wikispaces.com.
Tech-tivity Week 7 Thing 16
Let’s explore my personal favorite: Wikispaces
Watch this brief tutorial to get started-
Wikispaces provides AD FREE wikis to teachers. In order to get your ad-free wiki you must go to a special link for teachers. You get 2GB of space under this plan. No, I have not reached my limit yet but I am close!
- Go to http://www.wikispaces.com/content/for/teachers and create a username and password for your free educational wiki.
- Think of something creative to call your wikispace. Are you a classroom teacher? librarian? special area? support? What could you call your collaboration space? My classroom wiki was called www.read-a-wiki.wikispaces.com and my library wiki is called www.hooked-on-books.wikispaces.com.
- Now take a moment to play around with the edit features of the pages. Also go into your “manage wiki” feature and look at your different options. With an educator account you are able to create user accounts for your students without having to use an email. You are also able to monitor posts and send private messages.
- Take a look at my classroom wiki from when I taught at Deltona Middle School from 2007-2009. I created a book talk exchange. Students were able to edit the page and add their book talk to the list.
Now look at another way I have used a wiki. I taught a poetry unit to my seventh grade reading class and we used Love That Dog by Sharon Creech as a muse for our own writing. After analyzing a poem by William Carlos Williams I had my students use the same format to write their own and respond to another student. We did this in real time in the computer lab and the results (we never wrote anything on paper) was amazing!
- Write a brief reflection here on the Junkie blog about the wiki and how you could use it in your teaching. Use the resources below to post a notable wiki site you like or even your own if you have one. Become a member of hooked-on-books and participate on my library wiki discussion board on the home page the July discussion question is waiting for you! (You can leave a comment without waiting for me to approve you if you like).
http://www.teachersfirst.com/content/wiki/ A walk through on wikis, how they compare to blogs and some killer classroom applications for all subjects and age groups. Focus on younger students as well!
http://educationalwikis.wikispaces.com/ This link gives more great application ideas, notable educational wikis, and articles supporting wiki use in K-12 education.