Friday was a PD day at the high school that I’ve been placed at. And it ended up being super informative for me.
One of the best parts of the day involved a meeting with all of the grade 9 teachers. The school is starting a technology initiative wherein all grade 9 classes have to incorporate a technology related project. I sat in on the grade 9 math teachers’ brainstorming session.
One teacher shared her experience using wiki spaces with her class, and suggested that this would be a great idea for the grade 9s. She whipped out her laptop and showed everyone some examples from her class. She had started a wiki space and assigned the students their own pages, which link off of her home page. On each page, the students could put together a summary of a unit from the course, or a tutorial on how to solve equations, for example.
Everyone was impressed. Their response to this idea was: “I love it! I have never used a wiki space before. Let’s do this!” I was completely impressed by their enthusiasm.
For the next 20 minutes, all of the math teachers sat around computers in the library and worked together to start their own class wiki space. I mentioned that I was taking this technology course at Brock, so my associate teacher suggested that we have the grade 9 math class (which I am teaching) work on their wiki project during the time that I’m teaching. How cool is that?
So, when I got home, I decided to play with wiki spaces. If you’re an educator, you can create your own wiki space (with no ads) for free! If you’re interested in creating a wiki space for your class, just follow this link to sign up.
After you’ve completed the sign up, you automatically have a wiki home page. Here is the wiki space that I created just to test things out. If you want to change what it says on your home page, click ‘Edit’ at the top. If you want to add some pages (let’s say, add a page for each student to work on), click ‘New Page’ on the left. When you click ‘Manage Wiki’, on the left, you will get this screen:
From this screen, you can change the look of your wiki space, invite students via email and change permissions as to who can edit what.
When you click on ‘Invite People’, you will get this screen. You have to input the email of every student that you want to add to your site. They will be sent a link and will be asked to create a user name and password.
Once they’re in, they will be able to edit anything they want. It’s a good idea to click on ‘Permissions’ (under ‘Manage Wiki’) and lock the home page, so that you are the only one who can edit it. In order to prevent one student from messing around with another student’s wiki page, it’s probably a good idea to point out that, as the organizer of the wiki space, you are able to see who edits what.
Each student just has to explore the wiki and learn how to add content to their page. So, I created a few pages on my test wiki space for me, Mark and Mom to play around with. So far, it’s really fun to explore and easy to add to it. I’m really looking forward to trying this out with the grade 9s in a month or so.
UPDATE: Dad hacked my Mom’s wiki space and added a fun math riddle. I think Dad is testing me to see how to handle students messing around with each other’s pages!