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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thing 16: Wiki –the “quick” way to a 21st Century Community

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!
  1. Go to http://www.wikispaces.com/content/for/teachers  and create a username and password for your free educational wiki.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  1. 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). 
Other resources:
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. 


Nancy Keck said...

I love your wiki. I also made one on wikispaces a couple of years ago, but really haven't used it much this year and it in no way is as complex as yours. I did take your idea of the Brainpop Pop a Joke and embedded it on my home page! Great idea. I didn't know how to embed things....now I do. Also, I love your glog on your home page. Now I'm going to spruce up my wiki. We have used it in the past for book reviews, for theme based alpha-bets, and as a place for students to post information about what we are studying in media.

Sharon V said...

I currently have a wiki for my teacher on assignment position. I keep all my documents for my trainings there. I also keep links to websites that I find that others may be interested in. I find it helpful when someone wants a document. I can easily give them a link to my wiki or I can get to it quickly and send it to them. I haven't used the discussion part. That would be something I would definitely use when I have a classroom.

K. Michelle said...

I am thinking of starting a wiki for the media center at my school and maybe even help the grade levels get ones going for themselves. I also think this tool would be great for book studies, campus organizations, and multi-grade level groups.

K. Michelle said...

Here are some I have found!




Anonymous said...

Wiki's are a great way for teachers to have their own website in order to communicate to parents and individualize content to meet the needs of the students in their classroom. The idea of having multiple pages or discussion forums available at the same time in one location makes it easier for student collaboration to occur in an organized fashion so students don't get confused.

Sue said...

I'm not really sure of the difference in uses between a blog and a wiki. I think that I may create a wiki for my personal preferences to share with colleagues. Since our district adopted Edmodo, I am using that to communicate with students/parents.

Ms. McGinn said...

Remember a blog is journal like organized by date of entry. A wiki is a more linear tool where you organizes, share and collaborate on information.

Uses: Blog would be best for a newsletter or feature happenings.

Wiki: sharing documents with a team or subject area, working on a project together instead of sending a bizillion emails. Hosting a discussion on a topic(s). You can also do PLC through the wiki. I find the wiki easier to do this with than edmodo. Edmodo is a great place for collaboration, but a wiki allows you to do much more.

Time4Sail said...

That was my question. Do I need a Blog, Wiki, or use Edmondo for my classroom? Seems like a lot to keep up with! I tried using the Google Reader to subscribe to each, but which tool is the best? I really want to start out small with one place to post projects and communicate with both students and parents. Is that possible?
I do know now how to embed all the great tools I have learned. Is there a storage size limit?

Our third grade team has a pbwiki that we post all our team notes, CFA tests, and anything we need to share for PLC. It is not as fancy as your Wiki.

Señora Sarasua said...

I agree with Time4Sail. I am getting confused as to which resources to use: Blog, Wiki, or Edmodo. I could not possibly keep up with all of them. I see Wiki as a great resource for students to brainstorm on projects or a group writing, the Blog for class events, and Edmodo for more daily mechanics (assignments)? Am I right? With the use of Pinnacle with grading and attendance and the deluge of daily emails, where do I find the time for checking students feedback, comments, online assignments, projects, etc. with all of these tools? I thought that maybe I would focus on Edmodo, and with time permitting, introduce the blog for neat students resources and class news, and the Wiki pretty much for the students to use to colloborate.

Señora Sarasua said...

Oooops, I forgot to add a neat wikispace. The link is: http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/Presentation+Tools

It has fantastic resources for teachers!

stageforlearning said...

The worldwide web has provided us with many ways to use technology in our classrooms. I like the idea of a wiki for collaboration with other educators; however, do not feel it is something for my students. Volusia County is moving away from group projects for grades under their new grading policies.

Currently, I already have a classroom website where I share weblinks with my students.

I am contemplating having my students create their own blog pages to post their work so that I have a digital portfolio for each and every student.

Another teacher and I are planning on addressing technology resources/guidelines as part of school's leadership team. With so many resources out there, we don't want teachers introducing all the cool tools in one grade level and then the students being bored year after year using the same tools over and over. Still trying to work this one out. Will certainly keep you posted on how it goes.

Katy said...

I've used a wiki for several years now as my media home page (http://horizonmedia.wikispaces.com). However, I haven't used it in a collaborative way with students, and I'd really like to do that. I loved your ideas of sharing book reviews and peer reviews in the poetry project. I agree with several of the comments - I'm getting a little overwhelmed with what I want to try out! It can be so difficult, seeing the classes for half an hour a week, to introduce a technology tool and then actually use it. I find myself do a lot of re-introducing. I think the key is to get the other teachers onboard as well, so that these are tools used throughout the school, not just in the media center!

Holly said...

Wiki offers another way for teachers and students to collaborate. I've learned that teachers can save weblinks and documents they find important or useful. Students can post and respond to other students work as well as teacher posts

Holly said...


This wiki has computer learning centers that I thought were neat and kid friendly

Meredith Gilbert said...

Your wikis are awesome! Currently I am creating a classroom blog and am going to focus on that! One leap at a time! I am our school's tutoring coordinator. I might attempt to communicate with our tutors with a wiki! Save trees and millions of emails that I am sure most don't read;-).

Ms. McGinn said...

One thing at a time is best. For your primary classroom the blog is a great idea. You can feature all of these tools there! Your parents and students will love it.

Ms. McGinn said...

Remember there are lot of tools it has to do with personal preference and what your goal is. Choose what works for you!

christine said...

After reading all the comments I agree that there are so many wonderful things to try out. The problem is I don't want to overwhelm my kids. I created a Wiki page but haven't decided how to use it. I think it would definitely help with collaborating with my fellow team mates. I like how Time4sail uses it. A great place to store CFA and documents for PLC.

mkj said...

I have used a wikispace for 2 years. After all we have learned in this class, I will need to do some revisions for this year. I use it mainly to cut down on paper and printing. I use it to share documents and information. I have not used it for collaboration. I think I would prefer to use Google Docs for that, but I may have to experiment with each before I decide. My wiki is at: http://senorajiloty.wikispaces.com/. I learned about wikis at last summer's Technology Conference. I added Sharon's wiki to My Wikis so I could access the docs on CPS. I just used it last week to review the Interwrite MOBI class I took this summer. Foreign language teachers might like this site:

andrews3 said...

I made my first wiki during Tech Week, when I took Linda Pingrey's workshop. I had a blast! Then I went home and added websites and booklists that I thought my students would enjoy. I plan to use it as a way 3rd, 4th & 5th graders could write their reviews/comments about the Sunshine State Books they have read. They could also access FCAT Explorer from it, and look at the Reading Counts list of titles available. One of the wikis I found that I liked was WSD's eToolBox at http://etoolbox.wikispaces.com/home

Late Comer said...

My plan is to develop a Wiki where I can post the media center’s calendar, special activities, information and links to sites for classroom teachers to use to more easily include technology in their daily lessons (many taken from this course), and post handouts that I have created for various workshops I have sponsored. Also, this would be a good place to post the URLs to wikis that other teachers find useful.

Late Comer said...

Linda Pingrey and Sharon Vasikinan have wikis that I use to find information on technology products supported by VCS. Sharon's wiki is:

Mme Augat said...

I have used wikis for several years, and love them. I have used pbworks for all the student wikis, and I did one for each level of French that I am teaching: those are closed wikis with limited access and where I can monitor comments; students can make their own page, upload work, critique each other's work, etc... I am hoping to encourage students to write in French and not to worry about mistakes because it is not opened to others, just our classroom. I go back and correct, make comments, etc... A lot of work, but I don't mind. I also had an open wiki that I used for information about the class, uploading of documents, resources and such. That one will be replaced by Edmodo now, this coming year. I have two wikis started in wikispaces, and I may switch to wikispaces now, practice using it vs pbworks, because it looks like wikispaces is more popular??? I don't know, I have to decide. I find that if there are too many places where students have to go to, they just don't go to them. So you have to limit it, make it easy, centralize.
The foreign language teachers who participated in the foreign language festival used a wikispace this year for the first time in order to showcase and judge projects. That was neat!
This is a wiki is one I am using all the time, it's for French AP teachers, and people help each other as we have to do our audit for the new French exam...

Jason said...

I use my website to share links and post notes, but have started a wiki for my fellow teachers to share all of our files that keep being emailed and deleted. Everyone has their own space on the wiki and we have common space for sharing.

Mary Jo said...

Wikis are another great tool for collaboration! I feel like many of the other posters, which form for which function?
I think I will talk to my team about using a wiki for our grade level collaboration. I found a great wiki put together by the first grade team at Chets Creek Elementary School in Jacksonville, and I would like to do something similar. http://firstgradecce.wikispaces.com

cathycity said...

Because of its collaboration facet, I can see the wiki as a possible means of accomplishing some team intervention/behavioral intervention planning for PST or 504 development. I would also like to figure out how to use a wiki to enable students to give feedback on guidance content or to develop class contributions to all-school events. I'm just beginning to explore, so we'll see where that goes. I did find a wiki that provided guidance content and activities for grades K through 5 on six different pages. I will be exploring them for inspiration for my own.


Michelle Deibler said...

I think wikis are so fun, and I loved seeing your creative wikis. I made one in college in '08 for a class assignment, and it was great! We all had a part, and everyone in the class adding to the wiki to great a neat resource. I enjoyed the project. I tried to make one for my classroom, but found it hard to keep up with. I'd like to give it another try this year maybe.

Here is my link to the collaborative wiki I made:


Mrs. Jacobsen said...

I love the idea of wikis for collaboration. Right now, I'm doing the whole email thing for collaboration. If there is a mistake, it needs to be corrected and resent. I've done the Volusia county collaboration page, but there are only the three "facillitators" who can add items. A wiki would allow educators from around the country to have access to all the members files they upload.

Also I visited some wikispaces and I loved the idea where a wiki was created to list 1000 names. I can see using a wiki for 100th day of school with students adding collections of 100 items photographed from home, etc.

I am thankful for the posts on the difference between a blog and a wiki and the reason for using each.

Sherri Callahan said...

I've been working all day on my Weebly wiki...young-at-art.weebly.com, working on creating a website/wiki for everything about the art elective class: a place to download handouts, absent kids and parents to keep informed on the class, lesson plans to keep me organized...what I've seen from another inspirational wiki using FrontPage (pb works) was that other teachers could collaborate on the site...there's so much to do! I really want a place for kids to comment on art and show their work, but I am concerned about privacy and safety of the children. If I ask them to comment, or show pics of works, what is the best way to handle that? Use first names only? Hmmmm

Ms. McGinn said...

@ Sherri,
If they comment have them use first names only. With a wikispace you can create student accounts.

Anonymous said...

I’ve been using Wikis for a couple of years. I’ve seen some great ones out there.
I seem to use mine at this point for putting up extra credit and online quizzes.
I also post links to other sites. A few times a year I use my wiki as a starting point for a web quest.
In the future I plan to use it more to help student’s individual needs. I’m also going to upgrade the look.


Gizbe said...

Wow! very impressive wiki. I have a lot more work to do to make mine as creative!

MrsLapnow said...

It is like a wiki pandora's box. There is so much to see, I just got lost in time looking at all the neat wikis out there. What a great way for our 10th grade team to collaborate.

Debra said...

My goal is to create a wiki to share samples of the Web 2.0 tools and interesting articles with other teachers. I would like to create one in which students can use Web 2.0 tools to share book reviews and samples of their projects. An interesting site I came across was a Second Grade Class in Canada. http://mrsanderson10.pbworks.com

Cool Beans said...

My wiki is http://learning-frenzy.wikispaces.com

I think a wiki is a great way to communicate with parents by attaching important files (copies of papers that never seem to make it home!) I added a book discussion to mine and loved your idea of having the students respond to a written prompt. I'm thinking a wiki would be a great computer center.

Sherri Callahan said...

I've abandoned the website and concentrating on the wiki. www.young-artist.wikispaces.com. I'm trying to make an interactive online classroom based on written unit lesson plan for parents and kids to follow. I haven't figured out how to actually upload a .doc in a way that I don't have to re-type all the information for the created wiki page, so I'm typing a .doc to print and hand out as well as typing the information in on the wikipage where I add slides, images, videos and links. Kind of a bummer. Any suggestions out there?

Ms. McGinn said...

@ Sherri,
You are able to upload documents, powerpoint files, publisher files etc. You can even save the file as a jpeg or gif and then have the image of the file on the page. Otherwise when you upload you will see a list of files and students/teachers can download the file to view. NO NEED TO RETYPE!!
Go to your wiki.
Sign in.
Click on the page you want to edit.
Then select FILE from toolbar.
Upload your files, images, etc.
Click SAVE.

You will be good to go! You can also embed on your wiki by using the widget feature.

Wright's Rippers said...

A favorite wiki I have used is: http://firstgradecce.wikispaces.com/
What a great way to share with a greater community. I can see the value but like others before me I feel like I have so many choices. Thank you to the Tech Junkie challenge! I really want to focus on a few and master those. We might even think at our school about listing certain ones with certain grades, there are enough to go around.

Sue Shaw said...

I set up a wiki a few years ago and haven't progressed. I am excited about the changes in reading this year as there will be many opportunities to use these apps with our students and teachers.

I love the ALAN blog