Saturday, January 5, 2008

Wikis in the Classroom

I am pleased with the results of using wikis in my classroom this past semester for the students’ electronic portfolios. For this next semester I will use wikis for the electronic portfolios and also as a collaborative tool for the students. I have included in this blog entry some wiki resources that I am using and that I think you may find helpful. The first resource is a list of sites that help me learn more about Wikispaces; the second, ideas for classroom uses of wikis; and the third, examples of some excellent classroom wikis.

Learning More About Wikispaces
If you’re planning to try Wikispaces… or if you’re currently using it and want to know more about what it can do… check out this list of resources.

TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through (what wikis are, how and why to use them, uses Wikispaces as the example)

Wikispaces video tutorials (quick way to get started)

Wikispaces tutorial (instructions for getting started with Wikispaces, click on Help after logging in)

Wikispaces main help page (easy-to-understand)

Wikispaces help sub-categories (easy-to-understand)

Wikispaces blog (news about wikispaces with how-to’s)

How to Use Wikispaces PowerPoint presentation / audio podcast (good instructions for beginning to use Wikispaces)

Keep track of maintenance happenings and service problems (current status, to check or to report)

Ideas for Classroom Uses of Wikis
Are you looking for ideas of how to use wikis in your classroom? Check out the suggestions in these lists.

Here’s some of the suggested uses I found at these sites.

from TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through
book reviews
collaborative project with other students… another district, state, country
course hub
explanations of challenging procedures
field site observations
field trip summary
lab reports
problems the class is working to solve
research projects (instead of a PowerPoint)
student project products
student-created FAQs
study guides created by student groups
vocabulary lists
local history

from WikEd Wiki in a K-12 classroom
collaborative textbooks
literature circles
organization tool
science fair project preparations
student portfolios
teacher collaboration

from The Science of Spectroscopy
data collection
group authoring
peer review of projects
presentations (rather than PowerPoint)
tracking group projects
web sites

Examples of Excellent Classroom Wikis
Would you like to see some outstanding educational wikis? Be sure to visit the best educational wiki 2007 finalists for the 2007 Edublog Awards.

GoAPES wiki for Advanced Placement Environmental Science teachers
Horizon Project 2007 a “collaborative global project between classrooms in diverse geographical locations”
Mr. Lee’s Math 12 Advanced Class an “outcomes portfolio”
Salute to Seuss student pages about Dr. Seuss’s books
Welker’s Wikinomics a “collaborative tool for understanding concepts in Advanced Placement Economics”

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