Grades 9-12 CLE’s addressed: Communication Arts R1I, R3C, R3D, W1A, W3A, and a number of information literacy goals currently under revision. Biology: Potential applications to parts of Strand 3 and 4, as a wiki could be used to bring together field data of direct observation from a group of biology students. Social Studies 2.B and others; It occurs to me that the appropriate CLE’s depend on the implementation of the individual teacher. (According to my undergraduate reading course, at the secondary level, we are all reading teachers, whether we “signed up” for it or not.)
This would be a great point to elicit answers from the audience. Does anybody know? Will they connect it to Wikipedia? I have sat in interviews with school districts whose administrators had never heard of them, so it is likely that some number of our teachers will be as unaware of them as they are of Google Docs.
If no one knows, I will mention Wikipedia and its collaborative features. I may even throw in the bit of trivia that “wiki” is Hawaiian for fast. I do not find it to be something they need to read. I will emphasize the web-based nature of the wiki as well.
As someone who once played briefly with html, hypertext markup language, around 1997-1998, I would stress that beyond practice, teachers should find this web application as easy to use as Word, PowerPoint, and other computer applications. We don’t need degrees in computer science to create these sites.
I’ve highlighted the toolbar on this page to demonstrate what teachers would be working with as they create their wiki. One, this slide shows that I haven’t just jumped on this bandwagon of wikis without trying it myself. Two, a picture, it is said, is worth a thousand words. I believe it looks less daunting with the illustration.
I know a lot of teachers will be thinking, how is this relevant? Why should I add this to my list of things to do? I already coach and sponsor activities up to my ears. My goal is to demonstrate that wikis do have educational value for engaging students and providing instances for authentic learning, as well as taking care of some organizational needs as well.
This would be a major concern for schools, and the individual school district may need to come to a consensus on whether teachers and students make use of private and/or public wikis as an extension of the classroom.
Erik Myers mentions blogs and wikis in his article “Photography Education in a Web 2.0 Classroom.” This is the main function of his wiki. He states that it “eliminates confusions about expectations, due dates and requirements.” Any teacher who’s been in the classroom for more that a week knows this can be a challenge.
At this point, we would follow the hyperlink and examine the actual site. You can see from the screen shot that he has separate pages for each period of the day. Assuming this is current and not a year old, we learn from the front page that he is out with a serious condition, and even his substitute teacher has her own wiki. I would hazard a guess that it is current, as the article I located that led me to the site was published last year; before presenting and discussing this with teachers, I might try to Google his name to see if he’s actually deceased or not.
Again, browsing the CLE’s, I came to believe my previous conclusion to be correct: this tool can be applied in virtually any core or elective course so long as the teacher has the creativity to design it and align it with the proper CLE. I would daresay that a resourceful math teacher could use a wiki for student collaboration almost as easily as the science teacher.
I would try activating the teachers’ prior knowledge by asking if they have any experience with Blackboard or any other online forums of interest, by show of hands and perhaps even asking them what forums they’ve used. The discussion or comments page on a wiki are nearly the same.
At this point, I would follow the link to the WANDA wiki and discuss what the 8 th grade AP language arts students have accomplished under the guidance of the teachers and the librarian. To me, although the examples bear the marks of the age of their creators, this is a great way to for students to express themselves about the coursework they have completed.
We’re giving them control??? Oh my heavens! The sky is falling! Actually Achterman cites a number of sources who say students basically need “autonomy” for the experience to be a success.
I failed once trying to use a wiki for course materials after a fire destroyed our junior high/high school. Like the others, I can see a number of reasons it didn’t work out. I wouldn’t start out trying to use it to replace materials, but to supplement and enhance learning. I would also spend time in either classroom presentations or tutorials on screencasts to explain the functionalities of the wiki before I asked them to use it.
In part, the answer to this question is due diligence of the teacher in charge of the wiki, to check on the changes anyone has made to his or her wiki. Don’t ignore it.
What are some other “what ifs” we could talk about? These could be teacher generated. They may want to know how to do something more advanced that what we talk about today. Fortunately, most of these applications have help or how-to “manuals” to guide an educator through the steps. Perhaps I as the librarian would have these saved to an accessible place, if not printed out: they are pretty extensive. I would also want to talk to administrators about the application beforehand, to see if they had any qualms or suggested about the concerns the teachers may express. Lastly, I can always say I don’t know, but I can probably find out.
These were the main reliable sites I located out of the research I conducted for this presentation. Seed Wiki looked iffy, as though it was just being brought back to life after being inundated by spammers, and I don’t want teachers using it if it is currently unreliable or unstable. Schtuff has been merged with pbworks, so it no longer exists as a separate entity. There may be other hosting sites, but these are the ones I have experience with.
This is more like a works consulted list. The foreign language article gave me an idea to suggest for possible uses, as did the Myers and Moreillon articles, which also provided the wikis I intend to explore with my teachers. The Achterman article gave the best overview of wikis I could find, so I cited him more directly. Although I feel I could have addressed more, I know that my presentations run longer than I think, and I hope this would be enough to whet the teachers’ interest.
Students will require structure and scaffolding (Achterman); do not let them jump in without a lifejacket.
What if a change made by a student is a problem?
The teacher can easily restore an earlier version of the page.
A couple places to try. . . <ul><li>pbworks.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.wikispaces.com </li></ul>
Works Cited <ul><li>Achterman, Doug. “Beyond Wikipedia.” Teacher Librarian 34.2 (2006): 19-22. Library Literature and Information Science Full Text . Web. 2 May 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Cornelius, Cawood and Terry Vest. “Spicing Up Spanish Class.” Learning & Leading with Technology (2009): 32-33. ERIC . Web. 2 May 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Myers, Erik. “Photography Education in a Web 2.0 Classroom.” Knowledge Quest (2009): 36-38. Library Literature and Information Science Full Text. Web. 2 May 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Moreillon, Judi. “Learning and Teaching in WANDA Wiki Wonderland: Literature Circles in the Digital Commons.” Teacher Librarian 37.2 (2009): n. pag. ERIC. Web. 2 May 2010. </li></ul>