Last year I took my first steps into creating wikis with my students. I created one for a computer class and one for a math class. I made up some ids for them to share. This year I want them to have their own ids.

I've also set up a account for the school and I think I would at least like to let the older kids create their own accounts.

Finally, I am going to try a class blog for math class.

First, I'd like to know how different teachers approach having the students create their own user names. I will be teaching 6th through 8th graders. I'm sure not all of them have email accounts which wikispaces and require.

Second, I've created a parental permission form to let the families know about my plan and I'd like to know if anyone does this and what has worked in that regard. I'm curious if some parents will choose to withhold permission for these web sites.

Thanks in advance.

Tags: blogs, bookmarks, wikis

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I am embarking on my first use of wikis in an 8th grade class. so far all students have email accounts. i am oging to design how they have to create their usernmae. ex. firstnamelastinitial if that's taken, keep going firstnamelastinitialandnextletter
they will have to come up with their own password. i am expecting that will work. do i need a record of their usernames? thanks, i would appreciate any first timer tips. Judy:)
Whenever I use any new technology I have students update index cards with username and password. That way if there is a problem, heaven forbid, something that needs to be deleted immediately I can take care of it in the evening. Most admin accounts allow for access to all student accounts.

The main problem you have with student -chosen passwords is they forget them so there is a waste of time figuring out how they are to get access. If you have a list you can glance in a second and have everybody on board and ready to go. I also suggest to them to use the same username and password for every application.

If you use you send them a list and they set you up. At least that's how it worked when we did it several years ago. You will see the 5 wikis we did here.
I teach students in grades 6, 7, and 8. All of my students have IEP's and for that reason, I create screen names for each of my students (making it as easy to remember as possible), and use that same screen name for any Web 2.0 tool that we use. In my district each student has a student ID which they are required to use as their password to sign into the computers at school. After I create their logins, I use their student ID's as their passwords.

Using Google docs, I create a spreadsheet with the student's name, screen name/login, and password. I carry a print out copy of the spreadsheet in my school bag, which goes back and forth to school with me. By keeping the spreadsheet on Google docs, I always have instant access to all of their information, so that I can monitor their behavior online, even if I were to misplace my print out.

Since my students are in middle school, I tell them, "I can see EVERYTHING that you do when you access this site. Website _____ knows that you are a student in my classroom and they monitor everything you do, too. If you post anything that isn't appropriate for school, they may delete your account. So, make sure to only post information that is appropriate for school." When they hear that there is monitoring going on, most students make sure to do the right thing when they are posting/sharing/creating information online.

If a student begins posting inappropriate material, I have all of the information I need to be able to access their account. It gives me the power to sign in under their screen name, remove the inappropriate content, and change their password so that they can't continue to post anything, appropriate or not, until I am able to speak to them in person about the incident. I learned that the hard way one weekend when I went away, forgot the print out list of passwords at my house, and one student made a rude comment online about another student. Nothing makes you feel more powerless when you read something like that, and have no ability to do anything about it. :(

For the most part, I have only had to deal with minor issues which led to temporary "bans" from sites. Luckily, I've only had to warn a handful of students and only one student has had a "week long ban". In all instances it was the only time that student did anything inappropriate.

Personally, I think I will feel most comfortable knowing my students' logins and passwords, whether they had IEP's or if they were regular education students. Having that information puts you as the teacher in control, just as you would be in your own classroom.

Overall, though, my students have been great with their participation on all of the Web 2.0 tools that we have used. Best of luck to you with your wiki! :)



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