So yesterday we jumped back into wikis.Â Now you have to understand we use wikis a lot in our classroom, but lately, mainly as a place for my students to find and follow links I’ve put there for them. If you’ve already been toÂ our class wikiÂ then you found that it has links to many math and language arts activities we use, as well as links to an archive of our past projects, videos and podcasts. One of my favorite uses is to put up a link or even a few about a subject in the news, about a guest speaker or a place we are going to make a connection such as when weÂ Skyped with Alan Levine in Iceland awhile ago. Often I find sites that will build some schema for my students in preparation to read a story or start a study on any subject.
We’ve made wikis before for a projectÂ and loved them, so you might wonder why we haven’t produced wikis in class for over a year. 1) we haven’t had a project where we needed to make wiki pages, and it just hasn’t come up. We would have if needed, but we haven’t needed to. 2) Our projects have also been limited somewhat by the very poor wireless connection we dealt with for the last 9 months or so after the second of 3 wireless routers was stolen.
So what changed yesterday? Well, our connection was improved by the installation of 4 brand new Cisco routers and a reason to make wikis reared it’s head.
As part of our Reno Bike Project, Project,Â each group in my classroom has been researching a different topic:(bicycles, smog, childhood obesity, and more).. We have been usingÂ DiigoÂ to archive our page links and have liked the new feature that allows you to highlight text on a web page and then annotate it with a â€œsticky noteâ€ so you can remember why you marked that text. We’ve used stickies to label answers to questions we’ve found on each site.
Yesterday each group made aÂ new wiki pageÂ just for archiving their questions, answers and links. Later we will be editing them more and soon will make them â€œlook prettyâ€ by changing fonts and text size, and adding photos and designs.
As we work on our project if other reasons for wikis arise we will make them.
Learning is messy!