Monday, March 1, 2010

921-Session 5 "The World of Wikis!!!"

Welcome to Section 2 of our course

"The World of Wikis!"

This second part of the semester will take us down a new path!

A path that leads to more collaboration--

more cooperative learning---

and more opportunities to create differentiated instruction and visual learning---all with the goal of helping foster literacy, and learning, for our students.

Don't worry if you have barely heard of the word, 'Wiki'. Here is a taste of the excitement that awaits you when you download session 5.

Good luck and take plenty of notes because I don't want to miss any of your ideas, excitement, or insights when you post your comments!

If you're eager to get started, but still have some apprehension then maybe some tutorials might help. I've added some beneath the blog tutorials on the left.

You may also read past participants' comments:

Spring '09

Fall '08

Summer '08.

Have fun!


Backup copies of sessions can be found on Just do a search for edc921 and view the appropriate session.


Mrs. Neri said...

I will admit I was a bit apprehensive about this weeks endeavor, as I have the biggest problem with Wiki’s in my classes. Students are always trying to cite them even though you cannot verify the authority the author has to speak on the subject. As I have started to comb through the sites and readings this week, I am starting to come around. The link from the power point brought me to an English Class’ Wiki page in California. It was interesting to see reading questions with answers and citations all online. When I looked at the history, however, on one of the postings it was all from the same web name. I am not sure if it was students posting information or the teacher. I am interested to explore how this would work in my classroom. I hope to learn some more as I continue to read and explore.

M.Searle said...

While I have heard the word Wiki a million times, I didn’t really know much about them until this week’s session and certainly hadn’t thought of using them in my classroom. To be quite honest, I’m not sure that I’m completely sold on the idea but am reconsidering after watching Vicki’s video. I definitely agree with the fact that we have to prepare our students to enter a very technological workplace. I know that students use Web 2.0 technologies all the time for social networking but I’m not sure that they really recognize their value as a learning tool or how important they will become when they enter the job world.
Personally, after watching the video I can see the value in using Wikis for group projects. My students do a great deal of group work which I feel is important but there are always issues that arise. It seems as though the student who has all of the material or the final project saved on their flash drive is the one that is absent on the day of the presentation. There is also the famous “he didn’t/she didn’t do anything” issue. I think that a Wiki would be a quick and easy way for students to store group project work. I think it’s great that Wikis don’t require in depth knowledge of web page design and html. The history and discussion type options would be a good way to monitor which students have contributed to the project. I am a little concerned about the fact that students could potentially write over other students’ work.
I also like the idea of “cross pollination” between classes that Vicki discussed in her video. I am currently teaching three section of Animal Science. It seems as though there is always a huge disconnect between my three classes despite the fact that they are working on the same projects. A Wiki might be a good way to bridge the gap and allow them to learn from one another.
I do however have my concerns. There was initially the issue of vandalism. I was relieved to know that the page creator can determine who subscribes and edits the blog and that it is not necessarily edited by the public. I feel however that a Wiki requires a lot more time and maintenance on the part of the teacher as compared to a blog (although I have done so little with Wikis that I may be incorrect in this assumption).
It also seems as though using the Wiki requires a great deal of prior instruction. My biggest concern is finding the time to instruct students how to properly use the Wiki before beginning the project. Currently, there are few computer science type courses in taught in my school which leads me to believe that a great deal of this would be new to most students. I also think that this creates the issue of justifying to students, parents and possibly administrators why we’re spending so much time on Wikis in an animal science class. I can see the value in it but I’m not sure everyone else would be so easily convinced.
I look forward to learning more about Wikis and am definitely interested in this “RRS” feature we keep hearing so much about.

Mrs. McAllister said...

What a great session!! To know I have used Wikipedia for a quick reference to questions and never knew it was a wiki. An Aha moment! It was also cool to know that Wiki means quick. I like have students know the origins of words and will tell them when we talk about using Wikis.

I decided to create a wiki as I really liked the Wiki-Walk-through ideas on classroom usage of wikis in science. First, I watched the how to slide show and signed up for a PBWiki classroom. At first, I didn't know how to attach pics and documents but with a little trial and error,(okay, a lot) I made a page that I'm happy with.

I have a meteorologist coming to speak about climate change on Wednesday and though what better way to review what he presented than to have students use a wiki and have an exchange of information and ideas.

Students will complete a sheet(which counts as a homework grade)during the presentation and write down two statements they learned and one question they still have.

On the Team R Wiki, I pasted my roster into a table and will have students type their homework statements and questions next to their name and save. Students will then read all the statements (a good way to review) and chose one question to answer. I will make sure that students do not vandalize work by telling them to only answer the student's question and leave the other information alone.

I'm excited to see how this will work and hope to apply this for other assignments.

Below is the link to the Wiki.

Cheryl said...

Wow. I am really impressed that Mrs. McAllister has already created a wiki to use with her class. Please keep us posted as to how the students react to using the wiki.

This week I have learned so much and explored the wikis from our text. I have found that I've gotten way too interested in exploring. I do find that I go from one to another and I'm getting a bit confused as to how much information there is out there. I was so facinated by the wiki for the Davis Community. Just this site holds so much information.

So much to learn, so little time! 1900 free courses from MIT to explore. I know with the way I learn, I need to step back to get some perpective as to how all of this could engage me personally. At this point, I can't even begin to explore how I can use what I've learned about wikis in my program.

alexandra Phelan said...

I think that my problem is that I am so excited about blogs and wikis that I am jumping from idea to idea; I want to incorporate everyone else’s fantastic ideas and try out my own. (This is not exactly uncommon.) I have run into a few problems, having to use the site offered through my district, which I do not like as much, and now the privacy settings are locked, but my excitement for advancement is holding strong. A side note, the margin of my BLOGLINES account will get bold for the ‘quote of the day’ but not for the class 921 updates…not exactly sure what is missing there? Maybe someone has a hint for me?
I too have learned so much, well; I did not now what a wiki was but I certainly find Vicki Davis amazing. She seems to have it all pulled together and solutions to all possible problems. Her solutions to questions and the support to the children are encouraging. It seems that the students are such a part of the process and she has the vision to apply that problem solving as an asset to problems that certainly occur in real life, I am living it. Some of the Southern phases fit perfectly. The ideas of the 8th graders and seniors working cooperatively show the advancement; certainly the younger students will be even more evolved when their senior year rolls around. We have a problem at school this year of student plagiarizing, and I am amazed that she does not encounter this more. In the small experience to blogging we exposed our seventh graders to, they would read the comments made before them and struggle to find their own thoughts.
I have been added to a team at school looking into laptops for each teacher with the hopes of each student eventually getting one. Obviously the future is coming quickly. I find it amazing that more schools are not using this technology today. The town that is using this resources is offering up to the minute news, and
The clarification between the uses for blogs and wikis was very helpful. The hints and reminders about wikis and the need to edit quickly, looking at small portions at a time is again evidence of the rapid pace of change. I guess I am amazing at all I am learning and while I feel so far out of the loop I am amazed that all that I am taking back to my teams is new to them.

Mrs. McAllister said...

Hi Cheryl,

I will definitely let you know how it goes.

Thanks! :)

Deb said...

What an informative session! I am really starting to feel that my understanding of Web 2.0 and the practical application of blogs, wikis, and other technology is growing. In addition to validating for me that wikis deserve a place in the classroom, this week's work got me thinking about about potential ways to incorporate iPods, video and photo sharing, and social bookmarking into the classroom. I know I have SO much more to learn, but the wheels are turning!

Vicki Davis's video presentation, blog site, and article are incredible resources for anyone interested in learning why we should use wikis in the classroom. The Six Pillars of an effective Web 2.0 classroom she presents are a wonderful guide for educators as we help our students acquire the skills necessary to compete in today's global economy. Especially enlightening were the qualities Davis insists every "Engaged Teacher" must have. These principles really made me reflect on my own teaching, best practice, and the transition all educators must make (and encourage in our students); Web 2.0 challenges us not to settle for merely "surfing" for information, but to become creators and collaborators, or as Davis states, "BE the wave."

I had reservations about the practicality of wikis in the classroom before this session, but Vicki Davis' presentation removed much of my doubt. I still wonder how much vandalism issues (even if not deliberate) hinder efforts for regular wiki users.

The explanation of the "watch list" which allows a teacher notification when new changes are made and the history page that maintains a copy of every edit helped me see how quickly one can locate an original version and revert to it, but I'm interested in hearing how fellow class participants resolve this problem.

I like the idea of using a wiki for group work. The discussion page allows students to "hash out" their ideas before handing in work. This brings Accountable Talk to a whole new level. As students build on and challenge each others' ideas, the collective knowledge base continuously expands. And the wiki can document these cognitive skills in action!

The Naz Family said...

Staci Nazareth

I was familiar with wikis as a concept. I remember reading that the entire curriculum of some school in South Africa was going to written on a wiki, and that this was going to take the place of their textbook! That is really scary, while also being cool! I did like the wiki rubric that I saw. It seems that Web 2.0 is so new, it's hard to find ways to assess it.

Sometimes wikis can be a pain. We used a wiki to have kids anonymously discuss aspects of Anne Frank, but what happened was that in PB Wiki, 2 kids couldn't be on the wiki at the same time. We solved it by having kids type up their information in Word and then paste it into the Wiki. We also used wikis to collect recipes for an historical cookbook that students created.

I think wikis have their goods and their bads. It does take extra work by the teacher to make sure that students contribute, which is easier to record using a blog, for example. However, it is nice to have the option of a wiki for collaborative projects.

Dana Dones said...

Hi everyone since I don’t have student to use this wonderful material on I will just comment about blogs vs. wikis.

In my first Masters Degree Program with Phoenix our main instructor used to warn us not to use Wikipedia as a source at all for our research papers. So it was not uncommon to read in the Blogs book that most other teachers and instructors warned their students as well. It would seem however that some of the grade school teachers would give their students the option of using wikis as one of their reference sources but not the main source.

What surprised me was how South Africa was able to use it to deliver certain parts of their lesson plan that seems like a safe venue for making information available. I’m not too sure about creating textbook using wikis but apparently others have done it successfully.

I am encourage to have learned that some content that is created for Wikis can be protected meaning no one can change the content. Although it is noted that authors don’t use wikis I’m persuaded that other people that place their content would be quite upset if their content was changed dramatically.

After reviewing the Davis Wiki I was amazed at how much material and information can be loaded onto a Wiki to provide services and updates to a community. I think that is the most impressive use of using a Wiki I have ever seen. As for blogs because they are static I think wikis is definitely a better route to go if you want to accept other peoples opinions and material.