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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ninth Grade Wikis - Week 2



Ninth Grade Wikis - Week 2
Let me tell you what I'm excited about right now!

I'm very excited about my ninth graders and how they've taken to wikispaces. They have a test on Microsoft Access XP tomorrow and have not only outlined the lessons (a class assignment) but have posted their study notes and created a homework page. The latter two were done through their initiative.

A great new tip for those who are worried about students creating all of these wikis that you don't know about. These instructions are for the wikispaces service I use.

1 - Go to Manage Space

2- Click on the username of your student.

I'm going to let you look at one of my students. You can see that he is a member of the westwood wikispace and a new one called riddles.

3 - To see the space he's joined called riddles -- I just click on the hyperlink for riddles.

This is a site that he's created for the logic puzzles he loves to collect. I'm going to have to ask him how he's going to post the answers. The ship logic question has me wondering.

Now, what if I'm concerned about a space or a student?

I can subscribe to their wikispace via bloglines and monitor it. I also keep all parent e-mails on file. I believe it is important for parents to know what their students are doing. If I have concerns, an e-mail usually handles it. If it is their private space but linked from their username to use the school wikispace then I've told them I consider that my business. If they want me out of "their business" they need a private username that they don't use for schoolwork.

Wikis are great but remember, variety is the spice of life. They are best for exploratory projects. If you use them the same way for everything they just become an electronic worksheet! They are another tool but one that students love and is very tailored to the plethora of ADHD kids that sit in the classroom now!

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