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Wikis in the K12 Classroom
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Wikis in the K12 Classroom


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Slide deck used for Wikis in the Classroom workshop; full details available at:

Slide deck used for Wikis in the Classroom workshop; full details available at:

Published in: Education, Technology, Design

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  • Use of <ref> tag
  • Transcript

    • 1. Wikis in the classroom
      Patrick Woessner
      MICDS Summer Teacher Institute 2010
    • 2. Workshop Agenda
      Why Wikis
      Cooperative Learning
      Project Based Learning
      Authentic Assessment
      Classroom Examples
      Type -- Tool -- Task
      Compare and Create
      Media Wiki
      Assessing Wikis
      Q and A
      Image Source:
    • 3. Why Wikis in the classroom?
      Support group projects/group authoring
      Greater accountability
      Connect students and facilitate peer review
      Synchronous and asynchronous communication
      Organize and distribute resources
      Class page/project website
      Showcase student work
      Control access
      Provide timely feedback
      Makes learning transparent
      Image Source:
    • 4. Why Wikis?: Cooperative Learning
      Cooperative Learning is a relationship in a group of students that requires positive interdependence (a sense of sink or swim together), individual accountability (each of us has to contribute and learn), interpersonal skills (communication, trust, leadership, decision making, and conflict resolution), face-to-face promotive interaction, and processing (reflecting on how well the team is functioning and how to function even better).
      Text Source:
      Image Source:
    • 5. Why Wikis: Project Based Learning
      Project Based Learning is an instructional approach built upon authentic learning activities that engage student interest and motivation. These activities are designed to answer a question or solve a problem and generally reflect the types of learning and work people do in the everyday world outside the classroom.
      Text Source:
      Image Source:
    • 6. Why Wikis: Authentic Assessment
      Authentic Assessment provides engaging and worthy problems or questions of importance, in which students must use knowledge to fashion performances effectively and creatively. The tasks are either replicas of or analogous to the kinds of problems faced by adult citizens and consumers or professionals in the field.
      Text Source: Wiggins, 1993, p. 229
      Image Source:
    • 7. Benefits to students
      Opportunities for collaboration
      Learn to work together
      Learn from each other
      Engage every student
      Everyone participates/contributes
      Extends the learning environment
      Resources always available
      Improves organization
      Provides cohesion to the learning experience
      Image Source:
    • 8. Wikis in Plain english
    • 9. 2nd Grade: Winter Olympics
      Type: Class Project
      Tool: Wikispaces
      Task: Class created their own Olympic torch and attempted a “virtual” torch relay. Their goal was to see if they could get their torch to all five regions represented by the Olympic rings.
    • 10. 5th Grade Geography: Geo-Squirts
      Type: Class Page
      Tool: Wikispaces
      Task: Teacher-managed portal for collaborative projects with other schools; also serves as a showcase for student work.
    • 11. 6th Grade History: Rome and China
      Type: Project Wiki
      Tool: Wikispaces
      Task: Students individually researched a question related to Han China and Imperial Rome. Findings were shared on the wiki and the activity culminated in an oral presentation.
    • 12. 7th Grade Science: Evolution
      Type: Project Wiki
      Tool: MediaWiki
      Task: Students (working alone or in pairs) chose one of three questions to research and used the wiki to organize their findings. Final product was an image-based presentation.
    • 13. 7th Grade English: Animal Farm
      Type: Project Wiki
      Tool: MediaWiki
      Task: Students worked in small groups and completed several tasks that would enable them to teach two chapters of Animal Farm to their peers.
    • 14. 8th Grade English: Single Scene Play
      Type: Project
      Tool: MediaWiki
      Task: Working in small groups, students wrote a single scene play that included cast descriptions, stage directions, and dialog.
    • 15. 9th Grade English: Survivor Island
      Type: Project
      Tool: Pbworks
      Task: Transform “Lord of the Flies” into a cooperative learning experience where groups of students are “stranded” on an island and survival is the goal.
    • 16. AP Calculus: Solution Manual
      Type: Student Resource
      Tool: Pbworks
      Task: Students help each other learn by writing a collaborative solutions manual that includes a detailed annotation of the steps involved.
    • 17. Advanced Chemistry: Lab Report
      Type: Project
      Tool: MediaWiki
      Task: Students published their lab reports and included statements of contribution and concurrence. Note use of tables and formulas.
    • 18. Global Issues: Wiki Books
      Type: Wiki Book
      Tool: MediaWiki
      Task: Student groups researched and shared aspects of a global issue for different regions of the world. Final product was a “book” on the topic of study.
    • 19. Using Wikis: so easy a mouse can do it
      Image Source:
    • 20. Getting Started: WIKISPACES
      Wikispaces provides ad-free wikis for K-12 use at no cost.
      Wikispaces Private Label provides additional services and levels of control for an annual fee
    • 21. Getting Started: WIKISPACES
      Very easy to customize, edit, and manage
      Video, audio, calendars, documents, and more can be added via Widgets without knowledge of HTML
      All Wikispaces you own or to which you belong can be accessed and managed from one central location
      Does not support page sections like Mediawiki; only one person can edit a page at any given time
      Hosted by Wikispaces; convenient but your data is on someone else’s server
    • 22. Getting Started: MEDIAWIKI
      Mediawikiis free and powerful; Wikipedia is built on the Mediawiki platform
      Can be hosted locally or through a hosting service
    • 23. Getting Started: MEDIAWIKI
      Supports page sections for multi-user page editing
      Local hosting provides complete control over users and data
      Features like the Book Creation Tool and <ref tag are well suited for student research
      Requires knowledge of wiki syntax
      Design options rather limited; multi-media can be challenging to include on a page
    • 24. Getting started: PBWORKS
      PBworksoffers Basic, Classroom, and Campus editions of their wiki service for K-12 educators
      Hosting is provided and upgrading service allows for greater flexibility and control
    • 25. Getting Started: PBWORKS
      Folder structure allows for easy file management
      Almost any online tool with an embed code can be used in PBworks.
      Classroom and Campus Editions are less expensive than Wikispaces Private Label
      No discussion tab; requires posting threaded comments which are visible on main page
      Hosted by Pbworks; convenient but your data is on someone else’s server
    • 26. A word about permissions
      Wikis can be public or private
      If public, students should not share personal information
      If private, you control who can edit and view
      Important pages should be locked from editing
    • 27. Assessing Wikis
      Process is as important as Product
      Utilize History, in-class observations, & peer review
      Read-Write-Think offers a 5 category wiki rubric:
      Contribution to the Group
      Tools like Rubistar and iRubric can greatly aid the rubric creation process and allow for easy collaboration among teachers.
    • 28.
    • 29. Questions?
      Visit the workshop wiki for more information at
      Feel free to play in our sandbox wiki at
      Contact me directly at