I teach a class called "Integrating Technology into the K-12 Classroom" at The University of Tennessee. We are currently exploring wikis in the classroom. If you are willing I would love to be able to share your "success story" with my students.

 

Please share:

  • Grade
  • Subject
  • Benefits or cons
  • Students acceptance of using wikis
  • Any parental issues

Thanks! Your help is appreciated. It always helps to share "real world" examples.

 

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Hi Jeff, I have no success story to share but just some experiences introducing wiki for the first time for my students. It took a while for them to figure out how wiki works and how they would collaborate through wiki. My overall experience was quite disappointing but I think I learned a few things:

  • Explain the concept of wiki clearly and if available, show real examples. I did explain the concept but didn't show example.
  • We have to plan very carefully the kind of collaborative activity they can do in the wiki. Perhaps start small and be realistic. I guess I was quite ambitious and put my expectation too high.
  • The students complained that their workload for the semester was too heavy.
  • Some students were enthusiastic at the beginning but others in the group didn't reciprocate - they get demotivated.
  • My students were worried about writing in English. 

In the end, I end up "building the wiki", rather than the other way around. You can have a look at my wiki courses:

http://imk209.wikispaces.com/

http://foodingredients.wikispaces.com/

 

May I take this opportunity also to invite you to visit my blog:

http://onestoplearning.blogspot.com/

Thank you for sharing this with me. This is a great help!

Just stopped by and learned something new!!

Thanks and have a great week!!

Coach BT

I teach technology to grades PreK3 through 5th grade and provide curriculum/technology support for teachers grades PreK3 through 12.  I used a wiki to display student work so that parents would be able to quickly access their child's project.  I had our fourth graders use a few web 2.0 tools to complete a digital version of their chapter book reviews.  Parents and grandparents were so apprecative of the wiki!  It was a great success because it could be shared so easily!
Thank you for sharing this as it is good to have some ECE examples! Great ideas, sounds like it was a great success! I will share with our preservice teachers!
I use a wiki in my third grade classroom as a spelling word record. This is the third year I have used a wiki instead of a spelling book and I have been very happy with how well it works. I choose five words from a specific spelling strategy to teach each week and put them on our home page. The students copy my homepage onto their page and then look through their own writing from the previous week to choose five more words they want to learn how to spell. For my struggling writers I help them choose lower level words and for my gifted writers who spell most words correctly, I steer them toward content words. Throughout the week we use the sticky notes on our MacBook (We are a one to one school) to keep a record of the words we want to use on the wiki the following Monday. By this time of year (we start in late Aug.), it hardly takes us any time to create our own lists. I have had zero parent issues because I explained the how and why at our Open House in early Sept. Beginning second semester we will begin adding more of our own words from our writing. Here is our page link: http://spellingwinners.wikispaces.com/
Thank you for sharing your experience and the link! Great ideas and looks like it went well. I will share with our preservice teachers!
I used a wiki this year with my 4th grade ESL students.  We shared ideas about stories, posted sentences with new vocabulary words, posted short book reports using Voki.  I was also able to include videos related to stories we were reading- an interview with an author, a presentation about glass blowing.  I posted links to  Spelling City and Study Stack to review vocabulary, pictures about an orphaned baby dolphin when we read about an animal shelter. Each student had her own page to respond to questions I would post.  The students enjoyed it and it was easier to check that all those copybooks. 

Hi Jeff,

 

This is my second year using wikis with 7th graders.  It's been a huge learning experience for all of us...but that's what makes teaching so much fun for me.  I'm using the wiki to foster collaboration and learning for 7th grade Medieval World History students.  The benefits include cross-class collaboration (I teach six periods of World History).  I've assigned several different assignments in which all 200+ students are participating at the same time.  The kids like being able to see their work online and I know they enjoy "working" with their classmates who aren't necessarily in the same period.  I also participate in the wiki discussions which helps to expand my class time with my students beyond the 45 minute period.  I love to see my students actively editing their own posts (with no direction from me).  The public nature of the wiki makes the students a bit more self-conscious about grammar and spelling.  I've seen students make as many as five edits on one post.  =)   Another benefit to the wiki is the discussion board.  My students post questions and wait for someone to help them.  This feature actually evolved when I was out of town for a long weekend and didn't have Internet access.  When I came back Sunday evening, I saw a huge amount of discussion posts from students helping each other.  It was relief to know that they were problem-solving on their own.

 

The cons?  Trying to keep up with the grading because some students like to respond to everyone who posts.  I use the history tab section and work backwards so that I can see who posted what and when.  Perhaps the biggest frustration is the fact that only one student can edit a page at a time.  To alleviate over-writing each other's posts, I direct my students to first type their post into a Word document before cutting and pasting...that way if it gets deleted or partially over-written, they can simply cut and paste their original post again.

 

My students really enjoy the wiki.  Even the ones from last year ask me if I'm still using it and if they can post on it as well.  I work at a Title I school, so I make sure that I don't require a wiki post without enough time for students to find a computer with Internet access.  However, quite a few of my students have a data plan with their cell phone, so they post on the wiki using their cell.  

 

I haven't had any parental issues.  However, on my classroom website on the parent page, I introduce the wiki, upload the link, and encourage parents to "check in" on the wiki (no one has taken me up on that offer).  

 

I absolutely love how using the wiki has increased engagement and motivation for my students.  Because I allow for homework to be posted on the wiki, I tend to get homework from students who traditionally don't want to put their work to paper, but will willingly do it because it involves a computer.  

 

If you'd like to see our class wiki, let me know.  I keep it private because of the age level of my students.  And if you need any more "real world" examples, I'm more than happy to share.  I just finished a case-study on wikis and historical analysis skills...it's not conclusive, but pretty darn promising.  =)

 

Catherine

Catherine,

Thank you so much for sharing this! I would love to see the wiki! I understand the privacy issue, but do you think it would be okay to share in class with my teacher ed students? Just on the big screen so they can see it, not allow access.

 

Any other "real world" examples would be fantastic!

 

Here is my email address...jbeard8@utk.edu...if you will send me the link I will "request access" to the wiki.

 

Thanks again,

Jeff Beard

jbeard8@utk.edu

Catherine,

 

My name is Ken and I teach 7th grade Life Science at Susquehanna Township Middle School in Harrisburg PA.  I am new to the wiki world (https://mredwardslifesciencewiki.wikispaces.com/) and I am very excited to incorporate wikis into my science class.  Would you be willing to share your share your wiki sith me so that I can see "some real world examples" and pick up some new ides for my self.

 Thank you for your help.

Ken

Have had nothing but success using Wiki's in multiple classes in middle school and elementary. Have set up multiple Wiki's for 6-8 grade for my Neuroscience and Health classes. Students can access wikis for information, completing HW assignments and viewing other students work. Have set up interesting collaborative projects on my Wiki's for specific assignments. Also set up a wiki for our 5th grade for their Colonies in America project ..... all meet with success and lots of student and parent support and positive feedback.

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