Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wikis in My Classroom

I got a chance to use wikis last year with my algebra 2 class, with the help of Dave Tarwater. The first day setting up student accounts with the students was probably the most difficult. A few students were able to run through the process very quickly; however, I needed to run around the cramped lab and help each individual student. As a little background I had asked the week prior if each student had an email account and if they didn't to see me and I'd help get them one (unfortunately 5 had accounts set up years ago that they didn't use or remember the passwords to). It was a good learning experience, and great for differentiation. The advanced students could help others and also work on their home wiki page or request membership to my private wiki (so outside people can't respond or change pages). The next time the students were asked to edit a page I created that had several problems on it. However, I ran into trouble. As pairs of students clicked the edit page and then save, the changes instantly appeared then disappeared as the next group saved and changed the page. Each group had tried to edit the original page and add their one answer to the page, but each subsequent save cleared the previous groups response. Having to think on my toes, I had each group put their problem and answer in the discussion page. I hope this gave you a little insight into my experience with wikis. The kids kept asking to use wikis through the year, and I had a couple more assignments but if you watch the video, wiki is more about collaborative work over time rather than my original idea of here's a problem, edit the page with your solution. However, Joe Miller has a great way for students to expand their vocabulary using wikis. Check out the work done on the word Irony.


Joseph Miller said...
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Joseph Miller said...

John is very ambitious for taking on wikis in the classroom. They are not always intuitive and the learning can feel lost in the struggle to make the stuff work. I applaud John for being willing to jump back on the horse. Can't wait to see what happens next in your class.

What kind of student and teacher collaboration do you believe will work best with wikis? What kind of leadership do you envision is needed to help wikis stick as an instructional tehnology?

Dave Tarwater said...

Great video, showing how collaboration can be an easy process through a wiki. Create, edit, write, save, link - what a concept.