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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Structure and Activities on the Westwood Wiki



Stewart Mader has posted part 3 of our interview concerning the structure and activities on the wiki.

Eighth grade begins to wiki!
I talk about how we use the wiki in computer science and computer fundamentals. I've also introduced the eighth grade to wikis this week. This is how I did it:

1) I added them to the wikispace and helped them join.
2) I created an 8th grade wiki work page and linked to their names.
3) I allowed them to edit and create their wiki and then go in and edit each others.

As things "happened" (simultaneous editing, for example), I showed them why that happened and how to look in the history. I showed them how to revert to previous wikis and how to compare versions. I also showed them the importance of putting comments on their editing.

Our summary activity for keyboarding
As a summary activity, I also have them take the 8 concepts of effective keyboarding and they are making up a story reinforcing those concepts.

To do this, I broke the class into two sets: writers and designers. The writers took index cards and my magnetic board and magnets and invented the story on the index cards. They used the magnets to hook them on the board in order.

The graphic designers looked through the Internet to find non copywrited graphics to use on the story. It is going to be a fascinating story when we're done! It also has had them talking about the concepts of effective keyboarding and serves as an excellent review of the semester.

All of these are things I've done before using PowerPoint or other tools. Collaboration has never been so easy. Learning is so very exciting using the wiki! It is very rare to find students off task using the wiki. Intrinsic in the wiki is a sense of being part of something bigger than yourself!

What is amazing is that after two days of classwork, they are virtually through with this project!

Look at their new wikibook about keyboarding! (We were having trouble with some graphics, but we should be getting those worked out tomorrow!)
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