About Wikis

So, what is a wiki?

"Wiki" is the Hawaiian word for "quick."

A wiki is essentially a web page with an "edit" button allowing users to add and edit information. This provides a very useful, and sometimes powerful, way for the wiki users to collaborate on projects. In a wiki, anyone and everyone gets to decide what will be said (content), how it will be said (organization), and whether it will be said (dissemination).
Of course, the most wonderful attribute of a wiki is that it is just simply...simple. YOU can make a webpage. Your students can make a webpage. Your content department or grade level colleagues can make a webpage. It is simple to make, simple to update, simple to host. And that's something we've never really had before. Oh, we've had the ability to create webpages for a long time, but they involved lots of complications. This is just...simple.
Let's learn a little more! Watch these two quick videos:

Let's See Some Examples

Exceptional collection of classroom wikis
From Vicki Davis (she's definitely worth "following")

Elementary Wiki Classroom Examples
Jan Abernethy's 5th Grade Class
A fabulous site from a gifted teacher and her amazing CyberChickens!
Elementary Math. Patterns
Several elementary classes collaborated on this wiki about patterns.
The 100th Day Project
Mrs. Lowe's 4th Grade Class
McWhorter Elementary Wiki 4th Grade Wiki
examples (Dave Sherman) - The students in Sue Barwick's 4th grade class really got excited about the Wikis. Here are some outstanding examples of student work on a Wiki that is directly connected to the curriculum. Students were adding information on their own, without the teacher asking them to.

Secondary Wiki Classroom Examples
Viet Nam Research Project
High school Viet Nam war research project all built into a wiki.
Missouri History Chapter Wiki
A review of Chapter 3 of Missouri Then & Now.
Student created page. Lots of data.
Science Rules
This is our virtual classroom and a place to explore our solar system. (Miguel Guhlin)
Collaboration Nation
(Paul Bogush) Our class wiki used for 8th Grade Social Studies.
Learning Latin America
(Kristin Hokanson) 9th Grade Humanities classes collaborated to demonstrate and teach their understanding of Latin America.
From Jerusalem to Montreal
A collaborative project between Neveh Channah High School students (Israel) and LCC (Montreal) - (Karen Guth, Reuven Werber, Sharon Peters)

Other Wiki Uses

DPS Librarian Tool Box
Created by Antonio at ERS, this is a new place for DPS librarians to access resources and share and swipe best practices.

Brush Schools
a "curriculum management system wiki" (Miguel Guhlin)

Don't miss these examples done by your peers-of-the-past
Former Student Work

Let's Learn How to Do This

Creating your wiki (you're on the web!)
The settings in your wiki
Editing features
  • toolbar
  • font changes
  • bullets and the separation line
  • linking
  • documents and graphics
  • a new page
The Navigation Bar
A jazz session with widgets

Other Cool Stuff to Know
Thousands of widgets to put on your wiki:
Some cool stuff to do on your wiki (qualifies as widgets):
Great fonts, a counter, and a wonderful newspaper inclusion: up your Wiki

Did you forget something?

You Try It Now (homework)

OK, create your wiki!

Here are some things to know and do:

1. Make sure you get rid of the ads!

2. Bear in mind that EVERYTHING you make in class will be included;

3. You can have anything you want on your classroom wiki, but the framework must include, at a minimum, the following:

a. Engaging and exciting front page (one that gives the message of what your classroom is all about!). Leave room for a Blabberize that introduces the site (what you need to know is that is an audio introduction of your website, but you do NOT need to do it now.;

b. A page called "All About Me" (or something to that extent) that introduces who you are as a teacher, a brief educational philosophy, a well-written paragraph or two reflecting your philosophy on integrating technology into your teaching and student learning, and a WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE ME component (you may choose to do this later as a digital story). This is a great place to post a resume, if you have one or are working on one;

c. A "Parent Information" page (to include pertinent information that you would want parents of students in your classroom to know (schedules, your policies, etc.);

d. A "Unit of Instruction" page (this page will include, at a minimum: your Scope and Sequence chart (embedded), COPY AND PASTE of the Unit Outline (below) to use with each of the 10 lessons you will write. DO NOT EMBED this document. You are welcome to put the lessons on ONE page (with one right after another) (example here) OR you can plan to put a link to each lesson (example here).

external image msword.png Unit Outline-r.doc
(Once you have written the lesson plan, please remove the green explanatory notes of mine)

f. A linked navigation bar (with ONLY these inclusions: Home, All About Me, Parent Information, Unit of Instruction, Cool Websites of the Week).

4. Make sure you have some appropriate and interesting widgets.

PLEASE REMEMBER: this wiki is something you will work on every week, not just for THIS week. So when you turn it in, ALL the content for each component do not need to be complete THIS WEEK. However, the more you do this week, the more time you can commit to the content itself.

To reiterate, for the FIRST WIKI assignment:

  1. Create the wiki.
  2. Create and begin to populate the pages. Let me try to explain "begin"--begin means that you should put something on every page--maybe just ideas you want to flesh out or some initial thoughts. It doesn't mean you need to FINISH the page, but it doesn't mean you put nothing.
  3. Copy and paste the Unit Outline into your Unit of Instruction page.
  4. Create and populate the navigation bar (exactly as described above).
  5. Be sure to open the Rubric found below so you are clear on how you will be assessed for this semester-project.

DO NOT feel like you have to COMPLETE each and every page. OBVIOUSLY, you can't put everything in, BUT you need to get going--this is a HUGE assignment (ultimately, it is your semester project) but you should plan to work on it a little bit EVERY DAY!
This is going to be your final product in this class AND a vehicle to get a job, so this would be where you want to excel in your creativity and effort.Rubric for FINAL wiki assessmentexternal image rubricunit.

What do I turn in?

Send me an email with your Wiki address (URL) in the signature of your email! The address of your wiki needs to be in the signature. Not sure how to do that?? Click here.