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.