ACFT SCIENCE LAB (RC 9/14/10)
After some searching I found a 5th grade science class wiki. It’s called ACTF Science Lab and located at http://acftscience.wetpaint.com/. The class is located somewhere in Texas, but a specific location is not given. The purpose of the wiki is to increase student learning and provide better commutation with parents. The class curriculum has been put on the site for both the parents and students benefit. Students can review material and parents can see what their children are studying. Most of the content has been created by the teacher, but there is a section of student created information. The wiki is organized mainly by providing links to various science topics, which show videos, graphics or articles.

I thought the best feature of this wiki was the ability of parents and students to review the curriculum. This allows parents to be more active in their child’s learning and the students to be able to review information any time. It seems that this type of interactive learning has helped the students learn. There is a comment at the bottom of the page from a student, who is now in 7th grade. The student talks about how before being in this class in she hated science, but because of the methods used in this class she now enjoys it. After taking a look at this wiki I can see how it would enhance our ability as teachers to help students learn.

Ms. Murphy’s Book Club for Kids (MR 9/15/10)
Kids Book Club is the name of the wiki that I found and it is located at http://kids-book-club.wikispaces.com/. Ms. Julee Murphy of Texas created this wiki for K-12 students and educators primarily in the area of Reading. Reading isn’t fun for a lot of people, so the purpose of this wiki is to generate interest in reading through integration of technology. It provides a variety of sources that offer introductions to books and other reading activities (which are managed by the teacher) as well as the opportunity for readers (students) to share their comments on books; thus, I think the teacher and the students play an equal role in creating the content on the wiki.

The wiki is designed so that links to specific books and other pages are on the left side of the screen. Links to specific books include but are not limited to: a written book summary, a book trailer, author information through articles or podcasts, background information in written or video formats, learning connections, activities, other reading suggestions, quizzes, comments, discussions, and more! One feature that stood out to me was the “Reading Links.” I liked this separate link because it provided other fun websites for students and teachers to use to further enhance the reading experience.

It is obvious that students learn from their experiences on this wiki. The interaction that the wiki provides is definitely a benefit. This wiki engaged students in learning that would not have happened in a non-technological format.

ANYTIME ART (JM 9-14-10)
The name of the wiki that most interested me is Dutch Art Education (http://dutcharteducation.wikispaces.com/).
It was created in the Netherlands by an Art teacher named Peter Van Steenwijk, for students ages 12 – 18. The wiki subject matter is two and three dimensional art instruction as well as an online gallery for student work. The primary purpose of this wiki is to be used as an informational way to teach art projects. The secondary purpose of this wiki is to display students work in the online gallery and for other professors to share lessons. If the wiki user is a student, they may log in and us the art instruction lessons for free, if it is a private party, they may log on and pay for the lessons using PayPal.

The teacher posts lessons on the wiki giving the age, material, subject and techniques used to complete each project. If the projects are originated with another professor, the host teacher identifies them. The students follow the lessons posted on the wiki. They can edit or add to the instructions per their experience. Then they have a gallery to post their final work in. In this wiki the teacher initially posted most of the information. Other art teachers may submit projects for students to work on. They make it collaborative amongst several high schools.

The wiki is divided into two primary areas, art instruction and gallery display.
It links to you the teachers original art website. It also directs you to the Dutch Art Education website (http://www.dutcharteducation.com/) which includes an extensive gallery and a break down of projects in age appropriateness, materials used, subject matter and techniques by providing online, interactive art lessons. I feel that the online lessons could be used by teachers that have no art experience, but have a need to complete an art project and add that tactile learning dimension to a lesson.

I think that anytime art students can view other artists work, they learn. They learn about different techniques, materials, and interpretations. I truly believe that the art students that use this wiki learn and benefit from their experience. I think one of the biggest benefits to students from this wiki is if they missed the class period that this lesson was taught in, they would be able to complete it with minimal disruption to a class. Art is such a hands on subject, it would be difficult to send the lesson home with a child to figure out with out some verbal guidance. With the wiki the child could have an opportunity to possibly complete the project on their own, or move on to other projects if they have an interest in working on their own.

Mr. Riscy's 8th Grade Literature Class (NF 9-16-10)


I read the wiki entitled Holes created with referance to Holes the book written by Louis Sachar. The page is presented by “Year 8 students from DIS , Dubai” which is strange to me because it is in English. The class is Literature and address is http://stanleyyelnats.wikispaces.com/. I would venture to guess the teacher did the wiki for a number of reasons. There are several summaries on the site as well as student palindromes, a list of topics in the book, symbolism, a quiz, pictures and lots of other information regarding the text. The wiki serves as a place to compile all the assignments the students completed. It also imparted the students with knowledge on creating the site, graphic design, scanning paper pictures and assignments, and posting to the site.

There is a link on the site for “wacky inventions” which is there because the main character’s dad is an inventor. The page displays real inventions that are off the wall. I would say this is my favorite part. I think it is cute and it shows the little extras the students were willing to do because they took pride in their class posting.

The teacher gives credit to the students, and all the links are assignments completed by the students, so his role seems to that of a facilitator while the students seem to be the creator of the space. The information on the wiki reminds me of the assignments one would have seen posted to a tack-board with a scalloped edge when I was in junior high. This seems well put together, concise and more accessible than the old way of displaying student assignments.


Mrs Sheftels Class (AE 9-14-10)

Exploring Mrs. Sheftel’s Class wiki at http://mrssheftelsclass.wikispaces.com/, I was fascinated at all of the resources and connection offered to the 4th grade students in her class. Located just south of Denver, Colorado in a town called Centennial, Mrs. Sheftel has filled her wiki with resources and opportunities for her students.

The entire class participates in adding content to the wiki through homework assignments, picture galleries, student projects, and polls. Students contribute directly onto the wiki and can view some of the work Mrs. Sheftel has uploaded onto the site. She has also included educational links for students, weekly schedules, and videos to assist with homework. One of the videos was of Mrs. Shelftel doing a long division math problem. She offered two different examples of how to go about answering the problem. It would be great for the student who gets home and looks at his homework only to say, “how do I do this, again?”

Many of the students pose “fun” discussion questions such as “What is your favorite thing at school?” This shows that the students feel a sense of ownership over the wiki site. They are comfortable enough to contribute their assignments as well as add to the personality of the wiki and the class it pertains to. In some cases students had to take responsibility for their own learning by getting their assignment off of the wiki or printing something off and putting a small activity together.

To keep her class connected, the wiki provides information for students and parents. The site not only offers help to her students with calendars and assignment postings, homework help, and polls, it provides a place for students to comment or send her a note. The wiki also connects with parents by posting regular information about what is happening in the classroom, what the assignments are, and any notes she needs to get to parents. It also is a place for parents to see their child’s work and to view slide shows of activities or trips the class has experienced.

There is an extensive section for other teachers with pages of resources pertaining to wikis and features as well as other educational websites. There are also links for students to go to for practice and educational play on the internet. Particularly, there is a link to the Study Island website that gives students the opportunity to keep up on their skills based on the state standards for their grade level.

The wiki is set up with major areas displayed in the left box. Very quickly can students get information about assignments or know where to go to enter a discussion. Parents also have a link to see up to date info about the happenings in the classroom and to access information directed to them.

The wiki sends the teacher home with the students, offering help with homework, making a place for students to send questions or notes to her, and connecting with parents. It allows for more opportunities to connect with students who might otherwise not speak up during class. Students are able to read something at home and immediately comment on the discussion board. This allows the teacher to have some feed back going into the lesson the next day before she has even seen her students.


G.A.D.G.E.T. (JW 9/18/10)

The wiki page I chose was G.A.D.G.E.T. (Global Activities Designed to Get you Excited about Technology), http://gadgetcamp.wikispaces.com/. It was created by a camp for Elementary School students by the Lenoir County Public Schools. It was originally created as a summer camp that covers issues like “hunger, poverty, and intolerance with younger students” GADGET has grown into way more than that. The wiki is divided by different camp groups at GADGET, then divided by days of the week, on each page is everything they are going to view, read, and do on that day. On the wiki they cover pollution, recycling, global warming, hunger. poverty, endangered animals, and a review page of all of the previous topics. On top of that they have a robotics group, and a tech savvy girls.


The tech savvy girls page was one of my favorites. It has videos of women doing what is stereotypically “ a man’s job” and the challenges to it but then the success and feeling of accomplishment out of it. It shows them different jobs and take an interest survey to see what occupations they are more likely to be interested in. They talk about powerful female leaders job descriptions, and schooling, (where to go, how long, etc). Then after every day the students respond to a blog question posted by their instructor.
The purpose of this wiki seemed to be aimed towards the parents of the students at camp, so they can be updated on what they are doing, how they are doing, see pictures and read blogs that the students post themselves. The instructor provided the previously stated information for the parents, the students added to the site what they learned, and their responses to questions asked my their instructors. One feature that stood out to me was how they created lesson plans for an entire day based off of movies, and activities, and such and had them all posted on there. Also the photos of the kids at camp, if my child was participating in the camp being able to look at those pictures and being able to save them to my computer would be great for memories, and being able to ask them about certain things they learned and helping them adapt to what they wanted to change. This wiki would give me the opportunity to accomplish this. From what was shown, yes I believe that the students learned from their wiki experience. I also think that the lessons on here are much more visual and more easy to relate to for the elementary age students compared to reading from a book and the teacher explaining it. There were also on the bottom of each page (day) is a list of other resources to check out to learn more.


ashscience7(KMM 9.19.10)

I explored http://ashscience7.wikispaces.com/. This site was created by the 7th grade science class at the American School of The Hague in the Netherlands under the guidance of Ms. Nelson.

The site documents topics studied by the science class such as taxonomy, tulips, worms, fungi and microscopes. It looks like Ms. Nelson makes an initial topic page and poses questions to her class. The class then answers the questions. Along the way the answers are clarified and/or expanded by the students.

In the main assignment, Classification, each student chose a portion of a larger project to work on. Ms. Nelson acted as the facilitator, making sure that two students were not discussing the same subject and that students were staying on task. Each student posted their mini-report to the main page to complete the project.

I found the discussions between the teacher and students and between students and students interesting. The teacher would remind the students of properly citing sources and proper spelling, etc. Occasionally one student would snipe at another during the process.

I think the students learned more in this setting than just submitting their project portions on paper. They still learned research skills. But, skills like formatting, creating links and editing were incorporated, too. Being part of a project that can be viewed by anyone in the world is something of which they can be very proud.


Celebrating 100 days of School (WJ 9/19/10)
I decided to explore the wiki called The 100 Day Project, which I found at http://100thday.wetpaint.com . This was aimed for children and teachers at the kindergarten grade level. It deals mostly with math and counting skills that the children will be learning, but also could touch on language skills and fine motor skills. I feel the purpose of the wiki was to collaborate with other schools as well to see how the 100th day of school is celebrated across the country.
It seems to me that the teacher began the wiki, possibly with the intention of it being used by just her class or school but then opened it up to other schools around the nation. I also feel the teacher wanted to get the children as well as their parents involved in helping to celebrate such a big day. This seemed to be a teacher directed project with the children having to come up with their own ways of counting to one hundred. I do believe though that the teacher, due to the age of the children, had posted the information on the wiki.
The majority of website consists of photos that were sent in demonstrating different methods of celebrating one hundred. There were some really unique ideas shown on the site. There were also four additional links showing these demonstrations put on the site. The feature that stood out to me was all the involvement that was contributed by so many different schools throughout the country. I thought it was very interesting to see how many different ways the one hundred days of school could be celebrated across the nation.

Mr. Ben Wilkoff’s Challenging Discovery –Ism Project (SP 9/20/10)
The chosen wiki was entitled Discovery-Isms and can be referenced at http://discoveryisms.wikispaces.com/. This intriguing self-esteem enhancing project was completed by 7th and 8th Language Arts students from Cresthill Middle School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. It is a noteworthy fact that the instructor, Mr. Ben Wilkoff, was awarded Totally Wired Teacher in 2007. This was based on his creative use of such technological interactions as wikis and blogs.
Mr. Wilkoff covered a wide range of subjects/ topics in this particular wiki including debate, sociology, psychology, problem solving, music, prioritizing, diagramming, common community enhancement and religion. The purpose of this wiki was to empower students to understand themselves and their own belief systems better, while allowing them to resiliently prepare themselves for high school.
Mr. Wilkoff sets the expectations and motivates his students. His students did the majority of the wiki statements through debate, communication, resourcing (not as much as expected) in order to finalize a representation of themselves and their own individual belief system. The bulk of the references and resources were provided by the instructor but could have been done even more by the students if they had taken the initiative to follow through with the requests for references in their debate forums.
Mr. Ben Wilkoff presented the students with the beginning thought processes that led to the challenge placed before them and clearly laid out each expectation. The wiki was also organized by individual contributions to debates and individual results were organized in their own –isms. The wiki format allowed for interactions of self and in group settings, as well as ease for the students to refer to resources. This wiki stood out due to the creative expectations for each individual student and the intensity of the expectations. Each student obtained his or her own end result leading to each student’s enhanced comprehension of self and his or her own prioritization of beliefs to live by.
The Discovery – Ism Project. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://discoveryisms.wikispaces.com/


projectfeelgood (JG 9/20)

The wiki I chose to explore is entitled projectfeelgood (http://projectfeelgood.wikispaces.com) a wiki designed by teachers Kim Cofino and Chrissy Hellyer from schools in Malaysia and New Zealand. The purpose of the site is to create a community of collaboration with students from Malaysia and New Zealand to learn about digital video production. The wiki listed students from Malaysian schools MKIS and Kuola Lumpor and New Zealand school TIS as participants, but did not specify the age of the students (I would estimate middle and high school aged).

It would appear the teachers do the majority of the wiki organization through the layout, content, and assignments given on the page. However, the active participants using the page are students, as well as interested parents. Students are encouraged to use Skype for communicating with one another, (especially across boarders) as well as an online real time telephone and answering machine program called YackPack.

After reviewing the page , it seemed the students did learn a lot from the wiki experience, through the direct dialogue with both themselves and the teachers that created the page. The aspect of the wiki that stood out to me the most was the students’ utilization of Skype and YackPack. Now, through wikis such as this one, communication through their work is not rendered to only a classroom setting, but through a means of technology students are familiar with and can use to their advantage.



MR. LEW’S LOONY LAND OF LITERACY! (SK 9/19/10)
The website that I further investigated was entitled, “Ms. Lew’s Loony Land of Literacy!” at (http://mslew.wikispaces.com/). It was a site that went with an 8th grade language arts class at Farwell Middle School in Farwell, Michigan. The purpose of the wiki was to provide students with organizational information and supplemental resources. It also gave students a place to socialize by sharing favorite books, as well as, publishing their literature pieces. The wiki was set up by the teacher Ms. Lew and the majority of content currently comes from her. After looking into the different pages it was clear that as the school year progresses, students will take over and offer the majority of the content with their works.
The wiki has a home page with a nicely organized menu on the left. The categories includes a Class Calendar, Student Portfolios, Writing Gallery, Books We’ve Loved, Get Published and Cool Resources. One part of the website was entitled, “Lewipedia”. On the page it describes how the students will contribute research reports to this part of the site in order to make it like Wikipedia.
The teacher has included YouTube and voice recordings to explain her class and important concepts. I was most intrigued by the Books We’ve Loved page as it really allows students to be creative. It is like a wall and the students write a grafitt-like entry about the books they have read. They can include their own pictures, video, and voice. I could see this being very motivating at the middle school level. I think that students would come up with all kinds of presentations here.
I think that this is an organized wiki which would be a good introduction for any student into using wikis. I also think it will be extremely motivating and provide students with great feelings of recognition.
As a result of this assignment, I was able to explore different wikis. It was great to see the range of the content throughout all of them. I appreciate those teachers who took the time to carefully think out their wikis and include video and voice links.



**MrA-Ancient-Greece** – (ERP 09/20/2010)


In my opinion, Ronald Krause Middle School in University, Illinois has one of the most exceptional Wiki pages that I have seen. Mr. Anguiano (Mr. A) along with his 6th grade students, created a class Wiki in order to supplement their study of Greek Mythology. The website can be found at: http://mra-ancient-greece.wikispaces.com/.


The basic premise of the website is that the Greek Gods are holding an election to replace Zeus who is abdicating the throne. Each class member assumed the role of one of the Gods who could potentially be elected to the throne. The students were divided into parties, had primary elections and finally the general election where one was voted to take Zeus’ place as leader. The students had to create “radio” ads, conduct interviews, create campaign posters and create biographies using the information about each God that they had to research.


The goal of this particular Wiki is to study Greek Mythology; however, I believe that what the students actually learn goes much deeper. Through this process the students learned about each of the Gods in Greek Mythology. In addition, the students also learned how an election is conducted, how to upload files to a website, how to use computer graphics and how to create a web page. From what I gathered from the site, the basic framework was set up by Mr. A but the students contributed most, if not all, of the information.


In the end, I feel that because the students were actively learning about the Greek Gods rather than just reading about or listening to lectures, they learned much more. Also, the added benefits of learning about other things really brought this lesson full circle.

ASH 7th Grade Science (M.H. 09/20/2010)

The name of the wiki is ASH 7th Grade Science http://ashscience7.wikispaces.com. This is the general site that houses actual scientific material, biology subjects and project information submitted by students. However, there is also the science class link http://www.ashgrade7.wikispaces.comthat serves as the social site and class environment for the three (3) 7th grade science classes in the Netherlands. The various pages (links) are made available to students to find out daily assignments, field trip info and class fundraising events. Class students are also assigned responsibilities (by semester) to represent their specific class called “Color Houses.” Each of the teachers helps the class student body elect house “reps (representatives)” for each semester and they are required to login (to a secure site) to receive further instructions, etc.

The three teachers outline their individual classroom "moodles" and then as a group, along with the students, all help to coordinate (and fund) an annual road trip--this year the trip is to Ameland. The students are required to use laptop computers on a daily basis. They are given instructions from the science site as to how to classify living things and hwo to conduct proper web site research. Learning to conduct scientific web research at such a pivotal age will prove very helpful during their high school and college careers. Many relative subjects and links available on the science site are based on biology, taxonomy, microbiology, and zoology. The teachers play the main role of providing information on the wiki. I was quite amazed to read on the amount of social work the class performs throughout the year (by way of food drives, car washes and bake sales). I was also impressed with the amount of individual responsibility set upon each class student for participation in achieving class goals.

Mrs. Koopman’s Class Wiki (CP 9/20/10)
I found a fifth grade wiki page used by students from Buffalo, New York. Their wiki is an extension from their everyday class. At http://desbuffalo.wikispaces.com/ students can add to discussion topics provided by the teacher, get extra help on the topics that they are learning in school, or post their book reports. This website also provides parents with up to date information on school programs. I think that the beneficial thing for parents comes in the information that the teacher provides to ask their child more in depth question about what they are learning. For example, if a parent really wants to help their child then he or she could use some of the questioning strategies provided regarding books their child is reading. Mrs. Koopman is really just acting as a facilitator by offering the students and parents ideas on how to achieve success in the classroom, as well as being a successful person in the community with her 5 C’s idea. I think Mrs. Koopman really has put her students in charge of their own learning. She offers time at the beginning of the day as well as at the end of the day for students to update their wiki page. The way I understood it the students have to be completed with their other work in order to be updating the class page. Their wiki page is an extension to their classroom website. I think that the teacher is kind of using the wiki page as a resource for students and parents as well as using the wiki page as a form of motivation for the students to complete their work.

The Counting Book (SM 9/20/10)
The Counting Book was found on http://100thday.wetpaint.com and the teachers and children that contributed to this site are from various schools throughout the country. The wiki was created for kindergarten students to help them learn about numbers up to one hundred. The teacher sets up the outline for the counting book and then various teachers are able to let their students think of ways to count to one one hundred. They used their bodies, fingers, and toys to count and display pictures from one to one hundred. It appears that the students created the counting objects but the teachers most likely took the photos and uploaded them to the site. This activity does not have links to other sites but it shows a fun way to celebrate one hundred days of school while learning about numbers. It was apparent from the photos, the children were having a great time being creative and helping each other learn about counting. It helps them put counting to practical use. The pictures created by students counted from one to one hundred. I think the students learned many concepts in creating this project. They learned about teamwork, creativity, photography, and of course, counting. It was nice to learn about this project through the wiki because it allowed me to see the previous photos and get great ideas for my own counting projects for the classroom. It makes it come to life rather than it being instructions typed on a sheet of paper. Learning and sharing information in this organized fashion is great for student participation and new ideas for teachers!


LET’S GO WEST – 3RD GRADE STUDY ON WESTWARD EXPANSION ALONG THE OREGON TRAIL (LM 10/02/10)
The name of the Wiki is Let’s Go West! The web address is http://gowest.wikispaces.com. This wiki was created by a 3rd grade class. The subject area covered is Social Studies. The purpose of the wiki was to show students how to use technology to enhance and display research. The teacher created the wiki format, found resource destinations, determined what would be displayed in the side bar, and helped students upload their work onto the wiki. The students studied the expansion of the Oregon Trail and drew pictures to illustrate what they learned. Students submitted their research, explored various websites and other resources, downloaded pictures from cameras, and uploaded pictures to hosting site. Students created the majority of content (though I’m sure the teacher had plenty of editing to do). The basic framework of the wiki included a home page with a side bar that contained numerous interest destinations. The content of the wiki was quite extensive. It included history of the trail, timelines, graphs, photos, illustrations, facts, recipes, maps of specific landmarks, puzzles, games, and a list of resources/websites that were used. One feature that stood out to me was the map that logged where every viewer visited from. For example, if 100 people in the Australia viewed the class wiki, students could see that. In turn, the students documented how many people from each location viewed the wiki and charted their findings on a map. According to the teachers’ comments, the students learned to communicate what they were learning in school by using various types of technology. Students discovered that they could share their learning with the world through a simple click of a mouse. Shared learning such as this is an opportunity that is not available through a non-technological format.

Team 8 Blue (MM 10/23/2010)
Team 8 Blue is the name of the wikispace and the website address is http://team8blue2010.wikispaces.com/.
On the original wikispace the teacher who originally set up the website is not listed. I had to search back a few years to find the name of the teacher and it is Mrs. Laguna. Mrs. Laguna is a teacher from Millford Middle School in Quakertown, PA. The wikispace is all part of a broader Web 2.0 Science Class. Team 8 Blue is one section of 8th Grade Science students who are using technology to improve their understand of Science and Mathematics. The teacher facilitates the discussion by making posts on her blog giving students updates on due dates and projects. The students are able to input experiment data, answer chapter review questions, post daily notes for classmates, and upload podcasts and videos. The homepage was created by the teacher, but the Marking Period Notes, Compact Curriculum, Science Documents and Links, and Lab Group Pages are all created by students. The home page lists the update, objectives, and a welcome for visitors to join the discussion. Marking Period 1 Notes do a great job of keeping a daily log of class activity with short You Tube Clips, notes, activities, and Group Created Videos. The majority of the content on the history tab listed it was submitted by Mrs. Laguna with some input of data done by students. The Science Documents and Links page was all create by Mrs. Laguna with a large selection of weblinks and Microsoft Office Documents to the students to utilize. The sections known as compact curriculum and Lab Group pages were completely contributed by the students with experiment data, observations, and images. The feature that stands out the most is the simplicity to set up the wiki. I have a google site currently and it contains a lot of information, but does not have the opportunity for student collaboration. The students really seemed to learn from the experience. Every year they update the page for a new class of 8th Graders. The older versions of Team Blue 8 are listed and the kids are able to go back to obtain resources and review lessons they may have learned it he past. What a great tool to not only look back on what they learned that year, but imagine the power to go back on a wikispace that you contributed to review key concepts for your ACT tests as a junior. The biggest benefit of learning the material and utilizing wikispace would be the ability to document and share what your students were taught with the community. So many times people in the community or even within the home are wondering what students are learning in school. What a great way to convey a message to the community that their tax dollars are being put to good use.


WIKI ON THE HOBBIT (HS 10/25/10)
I found a fifth grade “Hobbit Talk” (http://hobbitalk.wikispaces.com/) wiki to be very interesting and helpful in learning to navigate a terrific educational wiki site. The site integrated reading, technology and creative writing (which included literary devices and vocabulary study).

The purpose of the wiki is for the students to share reflection and ask for help in understanding text. Students learn by responding to teacher directed assignments and through peer collaboration. It appears that the instructor set up the framework for the wiki, but the students are the folks who contributed to its content. The teacher is clearly the facilitator.

The framework is neatly listed to the left of the wiki. The teacher posts assignments several times per week. Included are the following: bonus page for extra credit (which include extensions such as song composition and making your own riddles), scoring rubric, wiki handling rule page, list of active wiki members, a question page where students can ask for help from other students on what they don’t understand, “Cryptic Comments” (where the teacher asks students to share their opinions), and Hobbit Art page (where students can share their illustrations).

This wiki includes links, which the students have attached. Middle Earth links include maps, art, an encyclopedia, and illustrations. There is an author bibliography, Hobbit movie trailer on Youtube, practice quizzes and Hobbit trivia.

The feature that stands out to me the most is the congenial collaboration this wiki fosters. It does seem that the students have learned a great deal from their wiki experience. I am shocked (yet delighted) to see that fifth graders are capable of creating such in depth and thoughtful responses to one another. They have certainly taken charge of their own learning.

I think the wiki is a great facilitator of collaboration and higher order thinking. The multimedia aspect fosters creativity, excitement and accomplishment!

Notorious TRCS Seniors (KAW 10/26/10)
TRCS Seniors Wikispace http://trcsseniors.wikispaces.com/
This is a K-12 Charter School in Queens, New York. The specific link from their main page is the Senior class page for English. The students have an online discussion regarding their readings and global issues that, I assume, they talk and learn about in class. They can post their work as well as their digital portfolio which is all about them.

The purpose seems to be to keep the students connected and a place to share ideas and thoughts. The teacher has the main questions to get discussion started but doesn’t partake in the discussion, it’s definitely student maintained. I think the majority of the content was created by the students.

The framework is pretty straightforward… it lists the books that they are reading, the global issues they are studying, a link to their digital portfolios. It isn’t too cluttered or hard to navigate. Most of the content is student opinion and interests. There are some links, but those are mostly on the students’ portfolio sites.

I really liked the digital portfolio’s. Some of the students really spent a lot of time and made it personal. They were real, rather than just doing the work. It does seem that they learned although through more of an discussion based rather than research based. I think discussion is important as sharing ideas and hearing how others view things is as important as regurgitating facts and quoting what you don’t understand.

Cindy Bode and Allyson Carroll’s Go West Wiki (CW 10/26/10)
The Wiki, Go West, can be found at http://gowest.wikispaces.com. A group of 3rd grade students at Woodward Academy in Atlanta, GA created this wiki. It covers the westward expansion along the Oregon Trail. The teachers created the navigation bar and the students created all of the content for the pages.

Various aspects of trail life are depicted on the wiki. Each page has been created by a student or group of students and includes an image from the web or a hand drawn picture that has been uploaded to the page. It is all written in the student’s own wording which required them to really understand what they researched. The bottom of each page contains a link to where the information can be found, and a list of resources can also be referred to. It was very well organized and easy to find a specific piece of information relating to trail life. I like the original artwork that is included from the students and how they used Inspiration and Timeline to display data. This wiki allows students in the elementary age group to access information that is in their reading ability and is displayed in a fun and easy to use format.

Ye Olde Broken Arrow Pirate Wiki. (BO 10/30/10)
I chose the 'Ye Olde Broken Arrow Pirate' wiki (http://arrrpirates.wikispaces.com/) created by Mrs. Moffitt for 5th and 6th grade students. The purpose of the wiki is to teach students to define a task, ask themselves questions to guide their research, use appropriate information seeking strategies, identify sources of information, select important information from each source, organize the information, write (a) cohesive paragraph(s), choose an appropriate picture and copy and paste the paragraph and picture into the classroom wiki.
The students did research on pirates. The wiki is divided into 12 sections. The first section shows the students how find sources, gives them links to follow and teaches them to cite sources correctly. The next nine sections are different topics about pirates. All the work in these sections is student created. Each student wrote a paragraph or two after researching their pirate topic. Each paragraph includes a graphic and links to source materials or related topics. The last two sections are a bibliography and evaluation criteria. It was apparent that the teacher had prior experience creating wikis. I was impressed by how well it was organized. Everything the student needed to know to be successful was laid out for them. The students’ sections followed a logical sequence that flowed one topic to the next. By using this structure, the students learned to collaborate and make their own contribution to a larger, cohesive work. They got the sense that what they were doing was important to the success of the whole. I think the students were motivated to do their best work because they knew their wiki would be viewed by a potentially vast audience, something that can’t happen as easily using paper and pencil. I liked it!

All About Invertebrates (KO 11/3/10)
The name of the wiki is “All About Invertebrates” www.allaboutinvertebrates.wikispaces.com created by Kristin Olderman. This was a sixth grade general science class from Farnsworth Middle School, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. This was introduced to the students to help them learn how to use technology in the classroom and to find additional (quality) resources in science. Currently, the students are learning about the six most important invertebrate phylums: porifera, cnidaria, mulluska, annelid, arthropoda, and echinodermata. It is essentially important they understand what makes each phyla different, what their different characteristics are, how they each use a different form of protection, and what specific species are listed under each phylum and why. After we have covered all the required content material in the invertebrate unit I wanted the students to use the wiki as a resource for an upcoming chapter exam.

I chose to give my students a performance assessment to assess their knowledge in invertebrates. Students were asked to create a Venn diagram which is simply two circles that overlap each other forming the similarities section while the outside circles that do not overlap create the differences section. Students were asked to compare and contrast five shared characteristics and five different characteristics. On the flip side of the worksheet lists some specific questions about each phyla they picked to compare and contrast in greater detail. From the characteristics they described in the Venn diagram, students then needed to choose three out of the five characteristics (from each three circles) and explain in detail what the characteristic is or why it is important. From this activity students learned similarities and differences between two specific invertebrate phylums.

The role of the teacher was very minimal because students were asked to use the wiki resources to review additional resources needed to complete their Venn diagram. The teacher provided all initial websites and other necessary content material while students were asked to complete the assignment and post their information on the wiki when completed. The students had an opportunity to review content that had additional links to other websites which provided much more information about invertebrates. Students were asked to complete this assignment with a partner and then after the assignment has been finished, each student was asked to rate the effort their partner made during this project. In the end, it was the students who created and edited the majority of the information or content listed on the wiki with some teacher guidance. This was an interactive assignment because the students needed to collaborate with their partner to update the pages and to participate in the on-line discussions. I honestly believe the students learned a lot from completing this project because it was mostly student driven. The feature that stood out the most for me was the discussion component. This was a great way to see student involvement and actually documentation that students were actively engaged in what they were doing. I believe more learning has taken place on the wiki as opposed to using a non-technological format because students were able to work together at any time. They were able to edit and add information on their own time making collaboration easier which in the end showed all their hard work and dedication to the assignment.


MR. LEE’S MATH 12 ADVANCED OUTCOMES PROJECT (EM 11/10/10)


The wiki I looked at is called Math 12 Advanced: Outcomes Portfolio Wiki Project which can be found at http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/eplee/Math12V/OutcomesWiki/Outcomes%20Portfolio%20Outline.htm. This wiki was created at J.L. Ilsley High School, Nova Scotia, Canada by Erick Lee. The wiki was designed for a twelfth grade class and covers quadratic functions, exponential functions, circle geometry, and probability.

The wiki is designed to address curriculum standards (called outcomes in this case) that will be assessed with a cumulative test. The specific purpose of the wiki is for the standards to be thoroughly explained and for sample problems to be given that illustrate the standards. On the wiki, the teacher set up the format he wanted the project done in, with explanations for each section. The job of the students was to do the project using the wiki to work on their explanations and then sharing their projects. The page I looked at was entirely created by the teacher, since it was his outline on how to do the project (the other links would not work).

The page I looked at had a few links that would be helpful to the students in completing their project, including links to the outcomes, a grading rubric, and a site that generates graphs.

The thing I liked the most was that the students really seemed to get into it, as demonstrated by the student examples seen at http://acrospire.pbworks.com/w/page/1342642/Hall-of-Fame. In each of the examples, the students went well beyond the sample page shown by Mr. Lee on the outline page. I liked how the students were describing math concepts in both writing and solving problem forms. By explaining the outcomes so thoroughly, the given examples demonstrated the students’ grasps of the concepts. Their proficiency was also shown through their home-made sample problems and explicit solutions.
Although I couldn’t access the homepage, I think the main use that wiki had to this was in finding graphics to put in their projects and sharing their projects with other students. Concept mastery is best shown when you can teach someone else, and these projects definitely encouraged that idea with each specific outcome.

Mr. Lindsay’s 4th grade Wiki
(KS 2-6-11)
The class wiki that I found and explored was created by Mr. Lindsay at http://community.saugususd.org/dlindsay/page/Home+Page. The page was headed with SUSD Teacher Community. Mr. Lindsay’s 4th grade class is located at West Creek Academy in California.
The wiki includes the subjects of math, science, social studies, literature, writing, and art. The focus of the wiki is to serve as a hub for the classroom. To do this, in addition to providing information on the above subjects, the teacher also provides links to a calendar of upcoming events, homework, blogs, brainteasers, and parent help (volunteer opportunities). The teacher appears to do most of the work on the wiki, filling out information under each of the above areas except for the blog. The students appear to fill out their own blogs with information that they have learned in class. The students do not seem to be learning academics from the wiki, however, they are learning how to navigate the wiki page and how to post blogs. They have the benefit of reviewing information as they post as well as when they read the posts of other students.
The framework of the wiki is layed out nicely. The clear headings and pictures make the wiki easy to follow. There is an outline on the right that allows the user to choose an area they want to go to directly. When browsing the site there are many links to other sites to support the instructional material. For example, a parent looking under mathematical expressions may be referred to a link that explains what a mathematical expression is. This seems useful as a parent in order to better understand what their child is being taught.
Overall, I think that the use of this wiki is appropriate and beneficial to the ages of these learners.

Fifth Grade Wiki Book Review (SL 02/09/11)
I reviewed the Pomfret Grade 5 Wiki Book Discussion at http://pomfretgrade5.wikispaces.com
This space was created by a fifth grade class and teacher to review books that the class has read and to share their thoughts and critique of the books. This school is located in Pomfret Center, CT. I believe the teacher is probably setting up the introduction part of each book but it appears that some of the content areas updates are a shared responsibility of the student and teacher. The students are doing all the book reviews. The page does have a rules area to outline what is appropriate and what is expected, it is short but effective. What I really like about this site is that it is a fun shared experience between the students and also a great teaching tool. The site contains a list of books that can be reviewed and a link to each book. Each book page includes lots of information about the author, characters, story line and even maps and pictures of the settings. It has links to the author’s websites (if available) and makes suggestions of additional books the student might like to read. The site use pictures of the book covers and illustrations to brighten up the wiki pages. I think my favorite area is where the students can rate the book and give a review as to whether they liked or disliked the book and why. The comments by the students are very good – I was intrigued and would like to read some of the books myself after reading some reviews. Another area that makes it easy to see that the students are learning from this type of wiki experience is that there is a discussion section where the students can post questions and thoughts for other students to answer and ponder. I think that this wiki gives students more freedom to express themselves in writing. They like the interaction with the technology but they are getting sound writing and critical thinking skills lessons at the same time. A win-win for both the student and the teachers!

A Collaborative Civil War Reconstruction Wiki (KP 2/9/11)
The name of the wiki I chose to examine is Philosopher King Project and it is found at http://philosopherking.wikispaces.com/. This wiki is a collaboration between two high schools located on opposite ends of the United States. One high school is in Ventura, CA and the other is located in Atlanta, GA. The purpose of this wiki is for students at each high school to come up with a different reconstruction plan that the United States could have used after the Civil War. The teachers at each high school started the wiki but the majority of the content of the wiki is contributed by the students themselves. Each high school split their classes into teams of 3 or 4 students. The teams then posted pictures and introductory videos of themselves so the other school could place a face with a name. These teams then each worked on forming a reconstruction plan that they believed would have worked better for the United States after the Civil War. They posted their ideas to the wiki. Other teams then critiqued their plans. The initial team could then respond to the critique to either defend their idea or agree with the change that was offered.
I definitely feel the students learned from this experience. It was amazing to see the amount of content and work that went into these reconstruction plans. I think that having two schools that do not know anything about the other helps in having a little friendly competition to come up with the best plan. I also think it is easier to critique someone through a technological means than it is to critique them in person. Being able to do this on a wiki was a benefit to all involved.

Holes by Louis Sachar (MM 2/10/11)
The wiki I explored was under the WikiExapmples heading called 8th Grade Language Arts: /http://stanleyyelnats.wikispaces.com/. I was very interested in that this wiki was created in April of 2007 by 8th grade students that attended the Deira International School located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The students are from many different countries such as England, Portugal, Brazil, Ireland, India and Pakistan. This wiki was created by a Language Arts class to help understand the concepts of the novel, Holes by Louis Sachar. It was set up with links to the different pages that seemed to be relevant topics that would be helpful to one who was reading the novel. While I was first exploring the wiki, it seemed as though the teacher, Mr. Elliot, was responsible for creating the pages where outside information such as “About Onions”, “The Importance of Water” and “Pig Latin” (all relevant to the novel) was posted and the students provided answers to the questions on some of the other pages. However, after reading the discussion boards on each page, it was clear that the students were responsible for much of the information on these pages. This really stood out to me: the fact that while I was reading the information on these topics, I assumed that the teacher had written it while it was actually the 8th grade students. It seemed like the students were learning a great deal from participating in this wiki, not only the topics from the actual novel, but the general knowledge of setting up and organizing a website as well. This will benefit these students since in today’s world, technology is a huge aspect of everyday life.

Terry the Tennis Ball (ME 2/10/11)
http://terrythetennisball.wikispaces.com/
Place of origin: Bellaire Primary School in Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Intended for: Students of Grade 3-4
Subject: Creative Writing
The purpose of this wiki was to create an interactive lesson with students that encouraged them to use their creative writing skills on an ongoing story about Terry the tennis ball.
The role the teacher in this exercise is the facilitator of responses which can be chosen by the student to further the story. After each selection by the student there are a few options that can be clicked on to continue the story in a multitude of directions.

The role of the student is to keep the story line going into different directions which enables a creative response embellishing the story even more.
The initial concept was created by the teacher but after the initial nuts and bolts were available it is totally up to the students to keep the story of Terry going. The students make up the majority of the content.

The framework is fairly straightforward and basic and is intended more as an exercise than a spot for information.
The content, as in the framework, is merely to allow the student contributors to manage the story and add to it. You can access the history and discussion (additions) and be notified of changes to the story. The ongoing story can be seen in its entirety as well.

The one reason I chose this wiki is that I enjoyed the twists and ramblings of the students’ creative minds. It reminded me a lot of the Laura Numeroff book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” which has always been a favorite of mine and my children. This is the crux of creative writing and this exercise creates a sense of ease and accomplishment. I can see how a normally shy child would be able to feel the confidence to add to a silly story such as Terry the tennis ball. By adding the layers of absurdity and personal choice to the creative aspects of writing it gives the child a sense of empowerment.

I definitely believe the students took a great deal from this wiki. The lesson was fun, simple, and effective in opening up their creative writing skills. I read a little background about this wiki and the teacher said most of the content was done at the students’ homes and on their own free time. I guess the number one benchmark of a successful lesson is the seal of approval from the kids.

The benefit of the wiki over a traditional lesson plan is that the student has the ability to remove himself/herself from the pressure of contributing in front of the class. This is the one time I approve of the disconnection behind the computer. The student will contribute from the security of their keyboard where they would never have face to face. This is apparent due to the majority of the work being done at home on this wiki.

MRS. WOLFORD'S MATH CLASS WIKI (AK 2/11/11)

The wiki I chose to explore was Mrs. Wolford's math class wiki, http://mrswolfordmath.wikispaces.com/ This class in the Girard School district in Girard, PA. This class wiki is meant for middle school grade 7. The subject covered in this wiki is math.

The purpose of this wiki is to show students' progress throughout the year. It also serves as a resource for students in completing assignments and projects. While the teacher created the majority of the content on the website, all of the “artifacts” showing what the students have learned are created by the students. It seems that the teacher simply organizes the material on the wiki.

This wiki is organized by resources for the students. First, the wiki is organized by courses then classes. The wiki has several different forms of content. On the main page, there are links to the course syllabus, projects, courses, district website and edonline. Along the right sidebar, the teacher also has personal/professional links about her.

The main feature that stood out to me about this wiki is the appearance. The wiki seems very organized and attractive. It also seems very user friendly for the students. Based on the artifacts on the wiki, it appears that the students are really learning in this teacher's class, although it does not appear that they learned because of the class wiki. This wiki could be more interactive and allow the students to do more of their learning from the wiki rather than from the class.


Ms. Wolfe’s Course Wiki (BG 2/11/11)

This wiki was about a history class designed for 10th-12th graders. The website for this wiki is http://105.wikispaces.com/USG_Class+Log+11s2. The other courses that are on this wiki are World Cultures, U.S. Government, Constitution and Civil Law. These courses are offered at Grace High School in Fridley, MN. The course was designed by the teacher and students and they it consists of completing daily logs for class activities, explanations of assignments, and to showcase students work. The framework of this site is geared toward everything that is lesson planned related and it posts websites for students to watch videos and look up information on the web. The most important thing I found from this wiki was that students can go on and do their assignments on line instead of the traditional textbook. I believe the students enjoyed their learning experience through this teaching style.


East Middle School Science (RW 2/11/11)

The wiki that I chose to learn about was the East Middle School wiki located at http://eastmiddleschoolscience.wikispaces.com/. This school is part of the Mesa County Valley School District 51 located in Grand Junction, CO. This wiki was interesting to me because it was a wiki made for an entire middle school’s science curriculum (grades 6-8). Students could simply find their grade level with the current unit being covered and find all the information they needed. This information included an interactive text book, standards and rubrics, note-taking guidelines, assignments and so on. It seems that creating links to other wikis is popular because teachers can provide additional resources that can aid in the learning process. The “layering” is effective because multiple grades can work off of one general wiki but still have their own subjects wiki. This seems that it may make students more comfortable with the wiki process as they continue through middle school. Another cool aspect was each teacher had a daily/weekly blog where parents could go and see what their children were studying based on what the teacher provided. Parents can keep an eye out on what is required but most of all they can be involved in what their child is doing.
It is hard to say whether the students learned from their experience but I think that a wiki like this is a very good reinforcement for the students because of its organization. If a student misses something or forgets when a certain assignment is due, they can check the wiki. Having an online textbook is cool because if they forget it at school they can visit their wiki. Posting assignments on the wiki is also beneficial because students learn how to use technological resources instead of paper and pencil.

TERRY, THE TENNIS BALL (SB 02/12/11)
I chose the choose-your-own adventure story of Terry, The Tennis Ball at http://terrythetennisball.wikispaces.com to see if it would be suitable for enhancing my 4th grade English class curriculum. The project is from a 3rd and 4th grade creative writing assignment at Bellaire Primary School in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. The teacher, Mr. Pearce, began the collaborative class project and each student contributed to the story by adding portions that were first written at home. The students created the majority of the content.

Each segment of the story has a page of choices that are links to the next part of the story with its own set of choices, and so on. I really like this assignment idea because it seems so naturally suited for the computer, and I can envision the students taking ownership of their work in contributing to the project’s success and completion. I believe the students learned cooperation and use of their own creativity from this assignment. I also feel there is a definite benefit to the use of technology for this assignment; it would be much more cumbersome and time-consuming to create this type of story on paper. It is also easier for the students to work with the finished product on-line since many individuals can access it at one time, and each can take as much or as little time as needed to read the numerous possible outcomes of the story.



Cool class project for book “Holes” Louis Sachar (BC 2/13/2011)

While exploring different classroom learning applications for wiki spaces I discovered the following wiki; http://stanleyyelnats.wikispaces.com. This wiki was developed, as a class project, by year 8 students at Deira International School, in Dubai. The book was assigned for literature class and the wiki was born after a few students thought it would be cool to be able to share with other classes. This project turned out to share with more that just the other classes. The teacher is the manager of the Wiki. The students shared discussions, suggestions for improvements and link to the Wiki. The organization of the wiki is much like a group discussion of the book Holes, by Louis Sachar. The class designed the home page graphic, different topics heading to ease navigation through the wiki and links to other interesting facts related to the book and/or author, the people who worked on the site. What I enjoyed was the idea from the book, a palindromes, which each student wrote a description of themselves using their name spelled forward then backward. Also, the link to where you are visiting us from. It seems the students very much enjoyed the project. To me, the benefit is the interaction between reading the book and applying, discussing, creating an interesting outline which can be linked to anyone with access to the web and interested in the topic. I sent this link to my daughter’s literature teacher because they are reading this book in literature.





Mr Richard's Worm Farm (SF 2/12/11)
This wiki is titled “Worm Online Wiki” and is located at http://4-4adventures.wikispaces.com/worm+online+wiki. I could not resist the cuteness of this 4th grade project.
The school is Young Hoon Elementary School located in South Korea, and is the first primary school in South Korea to adopt an English partial-immersion program (www.**younghoon**.es.kr/html/english/e_info.html. This wiki is presumably for a science class project where the students have obtained a colony of worms and are trying to keep it alive. They are experimenting with different foods to see what worms need to live. The purpose is to use trial and error to learn about how to keep the worms alive and healthy. The teacher guides the students occasionally by posing a few questions, but mostly it is the students who are giving reports on their findings, answering the questions, and providing links to other resources that they come across pertinent to the project. There are also links created by the teacher for an off-shoot project, the watermelon that sprouted in the worms' dirt. The framework of this wiki is charmingly simple and informal. There are links to the class's other projects on the left side of the page as well as other wiki groups. What stood out to me (other than the cuteness factor) is just how fantastic a wiki can link students' and teachers' information, even as young as 4th graders. These kids can barely spell (well, they are learning English after all) but their wiki lends a sophistication to their “worm project” that I find so appealing, and I believe the children share that feeling and make their project more exciting. Having this wiki for their use was like having all the class notes together in one spot, updated frequently, contributed by everyone, and informal enough as to not be too overwhelming. I think its nice that they can just jot down their results without the extra work of formatting it into a formal paragraph or presentation. I believe this kind of low-pressure input allows more emphasis to be placed on the actual material to be learned. I think, given that, and from reading some of the other class wikis, that wikis can be an invaluable tool in the classroom and there is a real benefit to learning this way.


Mrs. Harju’s 2nd Grade Classroom (TK 2/13/11)
The wiki I chose to write about was Mrs. Harju’s 2nd Grade Class Wiki, http://harju.wikispaces.com/. This wiki came from a group of 2nd graders in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was drawn to this particular wiki because I was amazed at all the stuff that these 2nd graders were able to include on this site. This wiki was a space that the class used not just for one project, but they used throughout the year. It was organized by the teacher, Mrs. Harju, to include information for every subject they are studying, blogs of their classroom adventures, Skype conversations with other classrooms and even profiles of the kids which included their work. Students were then able to add info to each sections of the wiki. The students are able to show off what they are learning to family and friends and anyone else interested.
My favorite part was that they had a class blog which was updated by the students themselves which included pictures and videos of what they were studying on a day to day basis. I thought this was so fun and I can just imagine how much fun the children had sharing what they were learning on the wiki! Parents just had to love this too as they were able to see all the things their child was learning in school. It seemed the primary teacher, Mrs. Harju, put up most of the main info but has guided her students through the wiki so they are able to post things themselves. Leaving a blog just for the kids was defiantly a great way to let the kids take control and have fun with it.
I see the wiki for this classroom as a way to keep students excited about normal day to day classroom activities by supplementing it with the ability to show off what they are learning. Including this type of technology in the classroom just aids in the amount of information these children will retain because everyday schoolwork has become fun.



Rebecca McFadyen’s The Impact of Climate Change (TG 3/13/11)
The Wiki that I explored was called The Impact of Climate Change and can be found at the address http://primaryextension.wikispaces.com/. I have no clue on where actually the class is located that created this Wiki nor the grade level, but it seems it was perhaps made by a High School as is states Derby DHS in the heading on the top of the page. Also I snuck a peek at the discussion board and it seems this may not be an actual class, but instead an extensions class where maybe it is optional for the kids at this school. Many had stated how they wished to be in the next week’s extension so this is how I assumed it may not be an actual class. This was a lesson tailored to Social Studies/Science where the class explored the effects of global warming. The teacher seemed to make the outline for the Wiki and gave the guidelines on the opening page and then from there it was up to the students to each make a page or two telling about global warming. Some students did better than others as some are full of pictures and links and others are bare bones and writing or maybe a graphic or two. Obviously this would tell us that most of the content was made by the students. It seems as though the organization is set up so that there is a rubric type document on the main page created by the teacher and then there are individual links on the left side with a few informational/helpful links and then the links to the information that the kids created. There are some animated pictures, links, and regular pictures that supplement the text in the actual content pages of the kids. The links take you to factual pages about global warming with more insightful information on them. The main pictures just give a visual to the content on the page. The one feature that stood out to me is the animated pictures that the kids have. Many have used an action picture to help draw attention to the page and the topic. I would say this is Velcro Learning because this information has stuck with the kids after the completed task. If you do to the discussions board on the page the kids answered a question from the teacher about global warming and if they enjoyed the wiki. Almost all of the answers were positive and stating how much more they have learned. Many of them were requesting to be in the next “extensions” group. The excitement was evident of Velcro Learning. The benefit here for the student was that it gained excitement in the material. Just by reading the discussions again it was a successful lesson that perhaps a normal book read would not have been.




The Aristotle Experiment (MC 3/17/2011)

The wiki I visited is called Welcome to the Aristotle Experiment, http://aristotle-experiment.wikispaces.com/. The wiki was created by a teacher at Estancia High School, which is a small high school located in Costa Mesa, California. This example of utilizing a Wiki was used to provide outlines of the assignment’s components and have the students demonstrate their final project to share with the rest of the students. The students completed interviews and used their page to post their interview questions and answers. There are various projects that are scheduled to happen throughout the school year, each project that has begun or has been completed has the intros, the due dates, the evaluation process for each, a set of resources and groups, so that the information is accessible and the students can have access at all times. So not only is the assignment posted, but the completed project is also on-line. An example of the completed projects is at http://after-the-war.wikispaces.com/Group+A . The wiki is part teacher, part student, mainly teacher supported.

This wiki is within a main wiki, http://aristotle-experiment.wikispaces.com/ , which is a project to help get children in a small school to learn how to use technology and learn in an interactive way, and use technology to communicate. The designer comments that this is what the students want in regards to technology and could also be used to teach the students skills that are needed to be successful now and in the future. The teacher/composer completed most of the work on the site; with the students completing their work and having it posted on the site. There is a home, page, discussion, history and notify me tab on the top, although some have not been used in awhile. The senior calendar offered the calendar of assignments, outlines, rubrics and when discussions would occur. This was true of the sophomore classes as well. The AP classes link lead to an amount of materials that me be helpful to a student taking the AP classes, such as reading resources, approved reading list and rubrics, but did not display student work or have anything that showed that the students were involved in making the wiki.

I like that that wiki easy to navigate, and seems to be much easier to create versus the older HTML code that I used in college to create a website. Once students become familiar with the wiki, I think it could be used to engage students who are not very vocal and want to be a part of the classroom community. I would also consider utilizing the wiki to engage children that have a difficult time talking in front of others, as they may do well with technology. Or, if they have disabilities and technology could lessen the barriers and create opportunities for learning, I would recommend using the wiki. This type of tool would be helpful to engage the students because they could relate this format to completing work that adults complete in the real world. Students recognize that professionals in an office, construction, or other types of businesses utilize technology and that working with one another on ‘projects’ utilizing technology will help them achieve long term goals of becoming successful. They will also recognize that learning can be fun and engaging. The main benefit that I see children learning from wiki is that they can have a positive experience navigating through a website for learning purposes. Hopefully, these positive experiences will motivate them to want to utilize other sites for learning purposes and engage with learners to create meaningful projects that can be presented in professional manner.

The Progressive Era Wiki (HR-S 3/19/11)
The name of this wiki is “The Progressive Era Wiki” and can be found at: http://progressiveerausm.wikispaces.com/
This is a wiki from an 8th grade American History class at University School in Milwaukee, WI. The purpose of this wiki was to do a collaborative project on the progressive era. It looks like each class period had to choose one of the pre-chosen problems within the progressive era and then had to provide solutions, images, primary sources, and citations. The teacher on this wiki created the framework and examples, and also was the evaluator using the rubric that was posted on the wiki. The students were the main contributors, creating the majority of the content. Content was divided by class period and then by topic.

One feature of this wiki that stood out was uniformity. It appears all students were required to follow a certain format, as described by the teacher-created examples given on the wiki. It’s nice and neat, but even though the students contributed the content, it seems to be dominated by the teacher. It’s basically seems like your typical history project where students regurgitate information with little relevance—the only difference here being that instead of a paper essay it utilizes a wiki.

From what I see, I would guess that “Velcro learning” did not occur. According to our textbook “for new learning to stay with a student it must have relevance to the learner” (Jukes, McCain Crocket, pg. 52, para. 6). Putting myself in the shoes of an 8th grade student, I don’t see how the assignment on this wiki was relevant to the students’ lives. It’s not a bad assignment overall. It does teach some very important skills such as identifying problem solving, citing sources, and manipulating an online format. But it seems to be very teacher-relevant—it has only one side of a piece of Velcro. What I would have done as a teacher is required a section in which students needed to write about how the topic affects their lives today. The progressive era was instrumental in creating the many changes that resulted in the way we live our lives today.

The benefit of utilizing a wiki is that students are using a 21st century format, which, in theory, appeals more to students today—a format that seems less foreign to them. It allows group members to view and edit the work from anywhere the world. It also creates a global audience. One of the nice parts of a wiki is the discussion feature. In this case this feature was not used, but if it was students could have critiqued each other’s work and discussed some of the ideas they came across.

Webster Class Wiki (SK 3.5.11)
This wiki is titled Webster Class Wiki 2007-2008 and is found at http://mswebster.wikispaces.com. This class is located in Southern California and is for 2nd and 3rd graders. The wiki has sites for all subjects; Math, Reading, Writing, Science, Social Studies, Health and PE, Art and Music, and Technology. The site is organized by each subject. There is a Language of the Discipline with letters A-Z with different topics starting with each letter. Example Math; A-Addition. It seems like as a class the content is discussed and then the students put the definition of each topic. The purpose of the wiki is to have the students use technology to help share what they are learning with the world. The content is written by the students and is their original work or their personal definition of the topic.

In the writing section, the students’ writing assignments are posted. This was my favorite part of the wiki. I love reading other students’ writing and seeing their progress throughout the year. I think this wiki helped the students stay involved in their learning. What they learned was written on their wiki. Each student was given an opportunity to share their knowledge with the world.

After rereading the definition of Velcro Learning, I do not think Velcro Learning was present in this wiki. The teacher had the students share the knowledge they learned through definitions of different topics but how relevant is knowing the definition of addition? It would be more relevant if she had them share a story problem that used addition. I think the website could utilize Velcro Learning but it did not.


LMMATH (NC 3-20-11)
The name of the WIKI is LM and can be located at: http://lmmath.wikispaces.com/. The class that created and works on the WIKI is out of Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, PA, USA. The grade level of this specific WIKI is 9-12th grade math students specifically in Geometry, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2 to post summaries and have access to additional help and information regarding their specific subject. The purpose of this WIKI is to post unit summaries, have discussions, and get a better insight for the math units. Each class has definitions posted in bold for each chapter, as well as a class list of everyone in their hour with their personal blog address as well. The website gives a lot of resources and additional math help websites. 2 of the websites that really caught my eye and I will definitely use again with my math students were www.purplemath.com and www.mathisfun.com. They can be altered to a variety of age levels and have a variety of games and learning tools to make it interesting and educational for middle or high school aged kids.

The teacher (or librarian in this case), as the facilitator, posts the assignments, texts, and readings as well as leads the discussion. She also puts her contact information visible in case questions arise for students. The students read the assignments, watch the videos, and complete math assignments to stay up to date. They also participate in discussions with each other and their teacher, and have access to their own personal blog addresses. The teacher (librarian) created most of the content on this Wiki (Mrs. Natalie DiTullio). The framework is set up as an outline. It is very basic but has a video on the home page which catches your eye right away (from YouTube). It has all of the current assignments and readings posted on the left side bar and there are discussion and contact areas on the tabs above. It is neatly organized into each class (Geometry, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, etc.) and has definitions in bold under each section. It is neat, orderly, and doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of writing, which is good as it doesn’t bore the person reading. It also is a bright pink and burgundy colors which is appealing and intriguing to the eyes. It is very organized though and split into each class type (Algebra, Geometry, etc.) and then broken into their specific units/assignments.

Some things I really like about the framework of this WIKI is that it has free online tutoring and lessons, quizzes and worksheets, useful sites and services, and each page (particularly the finals review) is printable so they can have it tangible to study from! There is a YouTube video immediately on the home page which is catchy and appealing to students and http://www.lmsd.org/staff/ditulln this is their web page that the teacher created with the whole class as yet another additional resource. The rest of the content on this Wiki is posted by the teacher and refers to their math assignments and curriculum for school in order to get caught up, do extra work, and not fall behind. The main feature that stood out to me was all of the class listings on the left, organized and categorized each homework assignment. I loved how she put all of the key terms (very important in math!) in bold and that you can print anything off the WIKI. The finals review pages stuck out to me because it not only had the key terms and items for the final exam, but it had a pdf file attached with a student’s notes posted (pages and pages of notes) so that if you were gone or need extra studying you could just print them off the WIKI site! I would like to do a Wiki page for my students and then add a link to my current web page so they can see my syllabus, curriculum, etc. all online and easily tangible! I loved this idea!

I would definitely say this is Velcro learning because they are combining knowledge and relevance to make learning stick in their minds and it’s definitely long term learning. It is also reaching out to today’s students with being technologically savvy since most of them can operate computers and tech. equipment better than their teachers! Yes there is the benefit of having access to this information on the Wiki 24 hours a day/7 days a week. They can get help from their parents at home, on vacation, or at any other alternative learning site. Their teacher is available for contact via email or blogging and it definitely opens up the communication lines that much more between the teacher and students. It is a nontraditional approach that in a few years will be considered traditional, in my opinion. I think it has many benefits to our learners and should be utilized by all J.


THE DISCOVERY-ISM PROJECT (HS 10/14/11)


After looking through many educational Wiki pages, one stuck out to me the most. This may be because the bulk of my courses in college were sociology, education, politics, and philosophy. The educational wiki page entitled, The Discovery -Ism Project (http://discoveryisms.wikispaces.com/home), was created for middle and high school level students. The subject areas that are covered through this page are Philosophy, Sociology, and Politics. The students examine their core belief systems (philosophy) and their role in society (sociology). They also debate their ideas (politics) on the pages as well. On the main page, the teacher uses a quote from Socrates, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” (http://discoveryisms.wikispaces.com/home, Introduction, para. 3)



The teacher’s role on this page is to layout the basic outline and introduction as well as the requirements. The students contribute by making their own wiki spaces using requirements using deep critical and analytical thinking. Students create a majority of the content. Their pages include a depth of exploration of their own belief systems. They also got to use creativity to personalize their pages to show their personality.



The Discovery-ism Project starts with an introduction. The introduction discusses what it means to discover yourself and your belief systems and encourages contributors to do the same. The main page consists of the introduction and requirements for contributing pages. To the left there is a side bar of links. There are collective pages which include informational pages on discovery and belief debating/discovery/templates. These pages were created by the teacher to help motivate the deep thinking needed for the assignments. Below that are the links to the individual -isms. These are from the contributions and make up most of the site. They are pages created by students discussing their findings. They personalize the pages with images, music, and creative writing. They develop their own personal belief system and write it out in a motivational tone. The introduction and whole idea itself stood out to me from the rest of the pages. This project pushed students to think about their beliefs and role in society. The pages required deep thinking from each student and an immense level of creativity. This type of project paired with technology makes it very inspiring.



The learning that has occurred on this wiki page could be described by using a term from the text, Understanding the Digital Generation. That term is Velcro learning. (Jukes, McCain, Crocket. Page 53) The teacher assigned an assignment that motivated students to analyze themselves and their beliefs, learn how to use WIKI and create a page, and use that page to create a motivational personal belief project. This project used this method to have the students’ use many educational topics (philosophy, politics, and sociology) combined with the use of technology. This makes the project interesting and fun for the student and is in a format that would stick with them. The benefit for the students doing this project on wiki versus writing a paper or using another non-technological format is that it allows for more creativity. It also gives the students a chance to learn technology that they will use later in life and give them skills they can use to compete in a technology driven world. The wiki format allowed them to share their ideas with the whole world.




The Discoverism Project. http://discoveryisms.wikispaces.com/home (AJ 10/15/11)


Ben Wilkoff at The Academy of Discovery created the wiki for a middle-school class.


The subject is Language Arts. The purpose of the wiki is for students to learn what they stand for and how to be true to themselves as they enter high school.


The teacher is providing a quest, of sorts, for the students to discover the “isms” that fit. The students need to explore their belief systems and then create a statement of who they are. Those statements are gathered on the left-margin, under the group pages. Students created an “ism” either based on their names or their beliefs.


Wikis are fairly new to me, so the entire project stood out. It encouraged me to have my students work on a wiki, rather than sharing my jump drive.


I would say that this would be Velcro Learning as described on p. 53 of the text. For many years we have told students to be true to themselves; shown them assorted slide shows, film strips and films; and expected them to just fall lockstep into line. This wiki encourages students to explore their belief systems, decide who they are, and then focus on how to stay true. The belief system is theirs not the teacher’s. I think the lesson would mean a lot more this way than in the traditional setting.


If the purpose of having students explore their beliefs is so that they will internalize and be comfortable with who they are, then this is a much better way to accomplish that goal. That is the benefit of using a wiki for character ed (which is what this truly is) rather than a traditional educational approach.




Soar 2 New Heights (SD 10/16/11) http://soar2newheights.wikispaces.com/

This wiki page was created for Ms. Katie Heissenbuttel 4th grade classroom in Colorado. Her page focuses on the subjects of Reading, Writing, Math, Science and Social Studies. The page is a way for parents and students to keep up to date on homework due dates and provides more information on the current topics students are learning. Her math page provided interactive link for students to practice their math skills.

The majority of the site is updated and edited by Ms. Heissenbuttel. Each student has their own student page that contained a word document about what each student and their big toe did over the summer. There was also a page set up for student podcasts.

The page was easy to follow and well organized. It also contained links to other websites for students to expand their learning on each of the course subjects. The website could be described as Velcro Learning as described in the textbook Understanding the Digital Generation (Jukes, McCain and Crockett). Each subject page described not only what projects the students would focus on but described the importance of the subject. The teacher seems to understand the importance of helping her students understand the material but why it is important.

This wiki allowed parents as well as the student to benefit from technology. It stood out that the page was not only for the students but also for the parents to be informed of what is happening in the classroom. It was another way parents could obtain information on homework due dates, upcoming events as well as see visuals of past project and assignments.




HOBBITALK (SS 10/17/11)

Being a Tolkien fan this wiki attracted me with the subject matter but truly impressed me with the content. The name of the wiki is Hobbitalk and the address is http://hobbitalk.wikispaces.com/. A group of fifth graders, not a full class just a handful, particiapte in this wiki which is set up by a Mr. Brown. The location of the school and the class is not given. The subject of the wiki is the book The Hobbit by J.R. Tolkien. Purpose of the wiki seems to be providing a place for students to turn in work and particiapte in a discussion with their classmates and teacher. The teacher sets up the framework of the wiki providing assignments to be fulfilled, guiding discussions and creating the framework of the wiki for students to then fill. He also created various pages (examples: Rules, Rubrics, Bonus Fun) where he gave the class guidelines for the way the class was set up and allowed for feedback from the students.

The students create the content for the wiki. There are many pages, such as: Chapter Work, Vocabulary, ~Creative Writing~, Hobbitalk Radio!, OUR HOBBITTY AWARDS!, ??s & !!s, Bilbo=Oxymoron, Cryptic Comments, Hobbit Art. These pages contain content almost exclusively written and create by the students. The students even have pages linked on the Members page which leads to even more of their work. The student on this wiki have created more content than the teacher. Since this wiki is on the Hobbit all the students go by names inspired by the book instead of their real names. All the pages are on different subjects. For example the Hobbitalk Radio! page offers podcasts of different radio programs inspired by the book. The Vocabulary page gives a spot for students to record words they didn't understand and then find definitions. The ~Creative Writing~ page gave students a place to write reviews of the chapters, create poems, and compose interviews. The Hobbitalk Radio! Really stood out to me. I was very impressed with the style of the podcasts. The students really did a great job writing the pieces and acting the part. The wiki allows students a place to not only write but show audio and visual pieces inspired by the book. It also allows for a place that they can interact with each other and their teacher online. I would say this interaction can be categorized as Velcro Learning as described in our text (p. 52-53). The interaction on the wiki along with the types of connections the student were making in all of their assignments and comments, show that, not only were the students learning, they were engaged. I believe the students who made this wiki will remember it and it will stick in their memory.








Nuts about Nature (JM 10-18-11)



The 7th Grade Science Wikispace at http://ashscience7.wikispaces.com/home was very interesting to me because of my background in earth science. Unfortunately I couldn’t seem to find out which school designed this wiki. They did have a nice layout and the topics that were discussed included classifications and biodiversity, microbes, protists, fungi, plants, animals, global warming and the environment as well as a quizzes section. The teacher seemed to give the students most of the responsibility in designing this wiki. Most of the content seemed to be what they were currently learning about in their classroom. It was well organized in that you could click on the major headings and, in some cases, a list of sub-headings would appear that you could also click on. After clicking on the sub-headings, you would either enter a page that appeared to be internet based or a page that was designed by the students. There was even a sub-heading that had a link to a video by Bill Nye.



The one thing that stood out to me was the creativity that the students put into this wiki. Colors were used to highlight important material and the flower graphic was “blossoming” constantly while you were on their wiki. It was a unique way to use graphics and coloring and the students looked like they had fun with it.



This is definitely an example of “Velcro Learning”. The students took the knowledge they acquired and made it relevant to the wiki space they were designing. I think this was a great way for the students to share their knowledge of the subjects they were studying. Not only could they post their knowledge, but they could get creative with it and “liven” it up a bit to attract attention. They certainly attracted my attention!




Mrs. Sheftel’s Class (SB 10-18-11)



This class wiki is from Mrs Sheftel’s class at Carl Sandburg Elementary school in Centennial, Colorado. The web address is http://mrssheftelsclass.wikispaces.com/Educational+links. The age of the class is not specifically given. A class picture shows the students to be about 9 or 10 years old.



Included in the wiki are pages that list the week’s homework; educational links which include games and lessons concerning all subjects; a student work page where all students are welcome to submit their creations; a fun page called “Take a Poll”; a pen pals page; a movie maker page; a page just for teachers which shares links to educational resources; a page for parents with helpful hints and fun for the family.



The purpose of this wiki appears to be both a class newsletter of sorts and a showcase for work that the students have done. The students’ work includes creations with Microsoft Word, Power Point, and Publisher. Each student has his/her own page on the wiki. The wiki also lists upcoming dates and events, offers a place for parents to ask questions, and has a video of one of the week’s lessons. It appears that the teacher has organized the majority of the wiki. The personal student pages are completely theirs.



I would say that the students’ learning could be categorized as “Velcro Learning”. The work was done on the computer using programs which assist in creativity. Students do enjoy using a computer to create. I believe they will learn more if they enjoy what they are doing. The feature that really stood out to me was the combination of class news along with the students' projects.









BACK TO LIFE IN A CEMETERY (JL 10/18/11)



Creepy is just one word used by one class member from the Nieman Enhanced Learning Center to describe the cemetery headstone research project called CSI: Cemetery Science Investigation. The reported topics selected for the wiki found at website http://csi.wikispaces.com/ could also be described as spooky, interesting, and fun. The 6th grade students from Kansas received lessons in history, science, and geography by conducting a study on cemetery headstones located in 3 different cemeteries. The purpose of their research extends beyond the assigned final project website by assisting historical societies with the preservation of information that will soon be lost due to the weathering of headstones.



The use of a wiki was clever and instrumental for this impressive project. The students collected a large amount of information, and the wiki provided an organized area for storing their information. In addition, the wiki would allow for easy adding and editing information to create a final product reflecting a true team effort from the entire class. Although it appears the students contributed the majority of the wiki content, it is probable based on the high degree of detail in the project that the teacher provided the parameters for the wiki, guiding the students through topic areas for research, development, and presentation.



This wiki mirrors the outline of a research paper because the contents include an introduction, supporting body, and conclusion. For the cemetery project the wiki contains the history of cemeteries, which is the project’s introduction; three cemetery examples with headstone information, which form the body of the project; and the preservation topic serves as the conclusion for the project. Furthermore, the wiki provides a link to the class project website, photo website and citation website links as well. In addition, the final project website http://connections.smsd.org/csi/ contains a scrolling slide show, photos, charts, timelines, and website links, making this a very informative research project.



Most impressive is the efficiency of the wiki to organize this very complex class project. The students experienced Velcro learning through the wiki because all of the data collecting became more than just information; rather, it became relevant knowledge that had meaning to the students, resulting in retention of what had been learned. This project could not have been created with such quality of learning using a non-technological format. The benefit of the wiki for this project was student ownership within a group project. The functional benefits of adding and editing information with ease created an organized work environment that was user friendly for both students and teacher.



Mrs. Toponce’s Class Wiki (RJ 10/19/11)



After looking at several different wikis, I chose Class Wiki by Keri Toponce. The web site address is http://ktoponce.wikispaces.com/home . I believe that this school is in Utah. This wiki is for her 2nd grade classroom. This wiki looks at these different subject and unit areas: Dental Health, Math, Social Studies, Nutrition, Poetry, and Writing Ideas. On the home page, it states that it is a website for parents to see things that are posted by their student. I am sure part of this was to help children to learn using technology, but I also believe it was to help students to review concepts they had learned. I believe that it also away for parents to see how technology is and can be used in the classroom. Another purpose I see for this wiki is to provide ideas and information on different subject areas for example in the Writing Area the teacher discusses how to assist the students in the Step Up to Writing Process. The teacher also provides links to websites to help understand the writing process more. This wiki does display children’s work. There is audio and video of children reading. There is also writing assignment that is illustrated from their continents unit in a slide show on the continents wiki page. There is also a different wiki page for each student that gives him or her an opportunity to tell about themselves and to show some of their accomplishments. I believe that the role of the teacher on this wiki is as organizer and facilitator. She appears to have designed the site and added the content that she wants to showcase. There are places on the wiki that seemed to be completed by the students, especially on their individual wikis. There are misspelled words and it looks like other people and students were able to add their comments to those individual wikis. The students have an active role on this wiki but I believed that it is overshadowed by the teacher’s role and content. I believe that the teacher, with a small part from the students, has created the majority of the content on the wiki. The wiki is very organized by subject or unit. It is easy to read and navigate through. This wiki does a great job of combining both original content with links to other websites. I loved the slide show of the children’s “If I could live in any continent, I would live in…” writing and art project. I also like the listening to the children say poems and reading aloud. There are places to see how they have used a computer program to use pictures or drawings to explain their answers to a division problem. However, there are places that the teacher provides links to other websites and links to other materials that parents can use to gain information or to use at home. There are pdfs for addition facts and word searches for the dental health unit. I think that to some point this can be categorized as Velcro Learning, because the teacher is using technology to help student relate to the units or subject they are learning. It is obvious that the students had to answer questions using a program that assisted in them drawing out their answers for their fair share division problem. There are several pages where the teacher has instructed the students to answer a problem, question, or even list their ideas. The children also had to type out the answers to the questions on the individual wiki page. I do believe that the wiki was to show parents what their child is accomplishing in this teacher’s class. It also seems to be a place for parents to get information regarding on the Writing Process. I am sure this was beneficial for student to be introduced to technology through this wiki. This wiki gives students an opportunity to take part in technology while learning. The teacher also provides websites for the children to explore certain units more.







Coal Tyee (MK 10/19/11)

http://mrsanderson10.pbworks.com/w/page/33263525/FrontPage

This wiki is from a grade 2 class at Coal Tyee Elementary School on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It was developed to share student work and videos, but has developed into a much larger project for the class. Now, students post their own poetry and other assignments, as well as share some time discovering books and talking to students involved in other wikis. The framework of the wiki is developed by the teacher, Mrs. Anderson, but all the students have contributions and links to their work.



The wiki is organized by links to large class projects, such as poetry, Owen and Mzee friendship, pen pal letters and then links to each student’s individual work. The feature that caught my attention was that the students are so young and have created so much of the work. Each student has created their own PowerPoint presentation for things such as the history of their town.



This is definitely a great example of Velcro learning. The students have participated in the learning, and it means something to them, so it will definitely be easy to “stick” with them. I think the benefit for the students is being able to learn collaboratively rather than on their own without the use of technology.



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Terry The Tennis Ball (PL 10/19/11)



Though it is no longer being updated, the Terry The Tennis Ball wiki http://terrythetennisball.wikispaces.com/ is a great example of a creative writing project that gets an entire class of students involved. The wiki was created for students in grades 3-4 at Bellaire Primary School in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. It tells the tale of a tennis ball named Terry. Students add their own parts to it. Underneath each section are blue links that relate what happens next to Terry in the story. The teacher, Mrs. Pearce, started the story on April 29, 2006 and all along, the students have been adding their own touches to it. The story starts off with this paragraph:





“Phut, the lid came off the container. Terry was free at last. For so long he had been crammed up tight next to his two brothers in a can on the shelf in the sports store. Now he could see the sky and feel the air on his fluffy skin and he felt happy to be out. Straight away, though, he felt himself falling, down, down, down. Soon Terry was bouncing, bouncing, bouncing before he …”





Located just below the paragraph are the blue links that lead to different parts of the story created by the students. For example, Terry meets Kate and they go have ice cream. Then, Terry rolls down a road. That’s where one link ends, and the story picks up with the link “KATE GETS A SHOCK.” And the story keeps going like this. The relevance for the students is that they get to use their imagination and work together collaboratively to put together an interesting, engrossing children’s story, while on the other hand, they learn about plot, developing characters, and some of the elements of creative writing. There is also a discussion area, a history portion, and a section for notifying the teacher. To me, what stood out was how the project got the students to use their creativity and imagination, and in the end, they got to see how to pick and choose between different ideas to see what worked within the context of how the story began and what didn’t. It’s a wiki that doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it’s just a fun little exercise that jogs the students’ creativity, and the wiki helped that by allowing everybody to participate in advancing the story and come up with their own adventures, while also providing links that made reading everybody’s submissions easy.





Mss. Anderson’s Second Grade Class Wiki (JMS 10/20/2011)



http://mrsanderson10.pbworks.com/w/page/33263525/FrontPage



Mss. Anderson’s second grade classroom has created a Wiki for their class which is located in Canada. While the majority of the work on the Wiki was created by the students, it appears as if Mss. Anderson controls the upkeep of the web page. Also, most of the content on this website seems to have been created using traditional methods, such as pencil and paper. The purpose of the Wiki is predominantly to showcase a portfolio of student work. The Wiki also documents class trips, lessons, and work using photographs as well as text. While this does not necessarily engage students in a revolutionary technological way, it seems like an appropriate introduction to web technology for second grade students.



If Velcro Learning is to engage students in ways that are relevant to their lives, I think that Miss Anderson’s Wiki does this. Because students are provided the opportunity to share their work with other people across the globe, they are likely to have a sense of pride and ownership; this is likely to make them want to excel. As an artist, I understand the importance of having the public view my product. Art is created to be seen; if art does not get the opportunity to be viewed, it suffers a lonely death. Perhaps the same is true for students’ work; it should be seen. Mss. Anderson’s Wiki is comparable to a GIANT refrigerator where all the student work is posted proudly for the world to see.



Miss Anderson’s Wiki covered a variety of subjects and themes. Students had work posted from science, math, English, and art classes. Students also had the opportunity to discuss their feelings on controversial topics such as coal mining. First students were asked about their opinions on coal mining and its safety. After students were provided with more information, they were asked to re-evaluate their initial feelings on the subject; they filled out guided worksheets which were scanned and uploaded to the Wiki. There were also links to other web pages and internet tools that would assist students in their learning. Our text discusses that students today are more likely to engage with graphics or video before text. They use text a means to supplement what they have intuited through the visual and auditory stimulation. Miss Anderson’s Wiki has links to different videos and interviews; it also includes a minimal amount of text.



Miss Anderson had students engage in a pen-pal relationship. Again, this was done using traditional methods. It may have been more effective for students to engage in “real time” chat room discussions. The chat pages could then have been saved and uploaded to the Wiki rather than just using the old paper pencil letters. I think that Miss Anderson is on the right track, but she could have done more to really engage the students in the technological aspects of this tool.



I wonder how Miss Anderson could have used her Wiki more effectively. The text discusses how many teachers use technology in the old “Sage on the Stage” format. Because Miss Anderson’s Wiki was predominantly a portfolio of student work created in pencil and paper format, I don’t think she deviated too far from the old methods of teaching. Also, the text noted that showing a video or PowerPoint is also just dressing up the old method of teaching, and it seems that this is predominantly what Miss Anderson’s Wiki did. Perhaps it would be effective to introduce the students to the Wiki format and how to create and maintain their own Wiki pages. While the work could still be created using traditional methods, having them create and maintain the Wiki might introduce them to technology more effectively. Although Miss Anderson included links to internet tools and programs that could be used by students and teachers, it didn’t seem as if most of the work showcased was created using these tools.





Collaboration Connection (RER 10/20/2011)



“Each time we steal a student’s struggle, we steal the opportunity for them to build self-confidence. They must do hard things to feel good about themselves.” - Dr. Sylvia Rim



This is how the Wiki for the Social Studies class in the Wallingford Middle School; located in Wallingford, CT. This is a site that is coordinated by the teacher and driven by the students while being accessible by the parents. On this site they also promote the Wallingford Education Foundation which is a non-profit, community-based partnership with the mission of providing financial support for programs that are not supported within the school budget. They support programs that will empower ideas and enhance student’s educational experiences in an effort to prepare them to become full participants in the global society. The use of this space to promote other educational tools appears to be unique and imperative while promoting parental, student and teacher interaction.



The wiki can be found at http://collaborationnation.wikispaces.com/home. This site allows the kids to create their own page about themselves and their interests within the wiki. The novelty of that interaction allows the kids to become familiar with the use of wiki while introducing themselves to the other students. From a parental perspective, this allows a parent to get familiar with the ‘friends’ their kids are referring to when they come home from school. As a parent, this provides a wealth of assistance in knowing what is important to my child’s friends and a point from which to begin a dialogue and engage with the person.



Homework, projects, current events that are being discussed and the schedule are all on the site. This allows for parents and students an additional resource to follow along with due dates, share information and conversation about things that are happening in the world and engage in the material at home as well. This is an invaluable tool for parents that want to engage unobtrusively in their child’s education and discuss the things that are going on in school. Parents are also able to assist in guiding the child in time management and having assignments done prior to due dates.



A couple of interesting things they do on this site is with the use of video. Each of the students is asked to pick three words a week and make a short video that is posted on the site. In this video the student introduces the words they chose, gives the definition, how the word is used and then examples of the use of the word. From the sharing of these videos, each child is able to increase their vocabulary from sharing and from watching the videos of others. This material is then reviewed at the end of the week it appears. These words are and this work is brough out of the current events and social studies projects that the children are working on, thus creating a relevance in their learning and a 'velcro' approach in their education.



The other unique item is the podcast of ‘the lunchtime leader’. Through this podcast a student is highlighted for their work, their achievements and their leadership within the class. This is able to be seen by the other students as well as the parents. This kind of recognition is a reward that earned and not arbitrarily given. In this there is the recognition of the achievement by parents and peers, a building of self-esteem and self-confidence based upon what they have accomplished. The use of the wiki for this is a wonderful idea that spurs on not only good behaviors, but good achievers.



Ms. Nakamura's Biology Class Wiki (CF 10/19/2011)

The name of the wiki that I found was called Ms. Nakamura's Biology Class. It can be found by clicking here: https://nakamurabiology.wikispaces.com/. Ms. Nakamura created this wiki to help with her high school biology students. She is responsible for most of the wiki, as she uploads the syllabus, and various documents and PowerPoints for each week of class. The students do participate frequently though in a discussion forum. Ms. Nakamura posts a question with some background information and the students respond based on their opinions which are frequently based on that particular week of class information. Her wiki is quite simple to follow, she teaches two biology classes, one advanced AP version and the other the mainstream version. The main page for each is a syllabus for each week of class underneath the previous week, and a tab of discussion questions that are easy to get to.

I looked at quite a few wikis that were not very organized, but the reason I chose Ms. Nakamura's is because she was quite organized. It was a personalized wiki, but easy to find all of the relevant information, which is key when dealing with high school aged students who may not have used a wiki before. Furthermore, I do see velcro learning in her wiki. Her week to week syllabus is pretty standard, but the discussions are related to students. One question was about a high school aged athlete who got a concussion at football practice. The response by the students showed they were engaged and participating in analytical thinking that both related to their lives and was relevant to their biology class.

The largest benefit would be the interaction, not many people would categorize high school as a time when they felt comfortable around all of their peers. The online format gives everyone a chance to earn their participation points while feeling more comfortable to express their opinions. It also capitalizes on the fact that teachers know students spend hours online doing various activities (usually not school related), this forces students to use their computer skills for educational benefit.



Mrs. Moffitt’s arrrpirates (BW08/21/2011)

http://arrrpirates.wikispaces.com/home



This wiki is amazing! It was created for 6th graders inShawneeMissionSchool District.



Mrs. Moffitt developed a wiki for children to learn, and share their learned information, with each other. The essential pirate information was found in a book, but she provided everything necessary on the wiki, using the internet: links for photo’s, clipart, and citing.



She divided the needed information into categories: General Pirate Information, Piracy Prior to the Golden Age, The Privateering Era, The Golden Age of Piracy, Pirate Biographies, Pirate Bases, Pirate Hunters and Captures, Pirate Ships, and Modern Piracy.



Most of the categories had sub-catergories. For example, what’s in a pirate’s name, what do pirate’s look like, the different era’s, etc. Each student was assigned a sub-category to research and post online.



Each student was required to post and cite their research. The purpose of this wiki was to allow all the students to learn from each other.



I would define this type of learning as Velcro. While the students needed to read a book for the majority of their facts, they were required to enter this information on the computer. They also were able to use the internet for following necessary links. By performing their homework on wiki, they were able to interact with their classmates.



I think one of the benefits of learning this way is that the class basically worked together to make a website. How fun for them! Not only did they get to post their research, they were able to learn about the other research their friends did.





Holes (TM 10/15/11



The Wiki I found to share is an English unit done by year 8 students, as they are described by the Deira International School located in United Arab Emirates. The address for this wiki is http://stanleyyelnats.wikispaces.com/home created by the students, almost entirely as an activity after all students have read this literature book. This wiki's framework is organized in somewhat an outline form with a summary of the book to start with notation that persons should only be exploring this wiki if they have finished reading the book Holes. The pages on the wiki seem to be almost entirely created by the students, some pages are related to the book, such as summary, quiz, photos of the setting in book before and after, student created drawing of unique inventions as a off-shoot of some inventions mentioned in the book Holes, a page for all the characters in the book and a page to describe the author and his writing style.

There are other web pages attached to this wiki-the author's official web page, a book forum site for posting and reacting, a web page about the author created by a correspondent from a national magazine. The feature of this wiki that stood out in my mind was that it was almost entirely created by the students for the students. The students added material and pages to the wiki that were beyond just essential learning content related to this book. When knowledge and relevance combine to make learning stick in the minds of students this is Velcro learning (Zemke 1985 and Wirman 2000). I think this wiki is a great example of Velcro learning because of the additional web pages with student created material based on information from the book Holes.

The benefit I see with this wiki all other projects that students excel in creating is when the students have ownership in a project, event, or classroom they find the activity more important and seem to put more of themselves and step outside their comfort zone.





Mr. Bergmann Science Class Wiki (BD 10/20/11)




Mr. Bergmann’s Science class wiki located at (http://bergmannscience.wikispaces.com/Home) is geared towards Mr. Bergmann’s 8th grade science classes. The wiki is for students at Kinard Middle School out of Fort Collins, Colorado.



The wiki covers information related to Mr. Bergmann’s various science classes. It appears the purpose of the wiki to help supplement the material for the students and help connect them better. The teacher does provide most of the content on the wiki but there are areas for classroom discussion. Students are not required to participate on the class wiki but are encouraged to participate and be part of the wiki. Students can look at the material for various units in their science class.





The wiki splits the information into different units throughout the science class using different links on the left side of the site. It also has sections for the course syllabus, calendar and assignments, and other relevant information for the class. There are also links to the main middle school website and to other relevant information for the students. One feature that I found interesting is Mr. Bergmann goes out of his way to help the students understand the wiki and the pros and potential cons to using the internet for education. He has a specific link to student wiki information and frequently asked questions related to the wiki. I also thought Mr. Bergmann uses videos and other multimedia greatly to enhance the students learning throughout the wiki. I do think that the wiki does achieve Velcro learning to a degree. The teacher does go to great lengths to include material and videos to make the information and lessons relevant to the students. In the end, however, I do believe there is some benefits to the student learning through the wiki rather than in a non-traditional format. Although the teacher does not force students to use the wiki, any student who does gets many resources to go along with the traditional format, as well as, the ability to get into online discussions with classmates.



Lets go West! (DA 10/22/11)



The name of the wiki I explored is “Lets Go West” and its web address is http://gowest.wikispaces.com/. I wasn’t able to find the location of the class or subject within the wiki, however, I do know they are third graders and assume by the content matter, the class must be social studies. The wiki explores the plight of the early pioneers as they journeyed westward along the Oregon Trail. The wiki provides a list of clickable links of different topics relevant to the journey, such as timeline, explorers, clothing, food, types of wagons, hardships, supplies used, and entertainment/games. The links are well organized in a column on the left-hand side of the main body, making it user-friendly.



The teacher provided the structure of the wiki in asking relevant questions pertaining to the subject in order to get the desired content and in organizing the content into categories and sub-categories. He/ she also provided some pre-selected websites for research on their schools’ network, Blackboard. The students provided all the content matter based on their research of websites on Blackboard, as well as using browsers to research other websites. They created the pages of the wiki by using software such as Inspiration to organize graphics and Timeliner to record events chronologically. Groups were given responsibilities such as converting scanned/ digital images to jpeg format and to upload photos to a photo hosting site, www.bubbleshare.com, to creatively aid in the production of narrating images. The class even created a PowerPoint presentation sharing photos of them performing research for the wiki project.



The one feature that stood out to me was the use of multiple pictures. It seemed every link had a picture to support the text and in doing so, made the website visually stimulating. There were several pages designed using pictures and arrows that impressed me as being a creative way to express historical information. The Bubbleshare may have been the program used, however when I tried linking to the site, it was no longer available.



I would categorize this wiki project as Velcro Learning by using a web research example. Students were responsible for finding answers to the teacher’s questions via websites. Once they found the information, they learned about plagarism and citing resources as an important part of the process. In doing so, they learned how to copy/paste URL addresses and increased their language skills because they became comfortable in converting information into their own words. The contemporary concept of surfing the web combined with the traditional concept of plagiarism/citing resources, equals information “sticking” to the students.



In addition, students’ research skills increased through their practice in evaluating websites and in performing browser functions. Their written communication improved and their need for content to be more organized resulted in one-on-one tutoring from the teacher. They learned how to produce photos using digital cameras and how to creatively organize them using software programs (Inspiration, Timeliner, PowerPoint) and the Bubbleshare website.



The benefit of this wiki project to the students first and foremost was them being excited to learn. That was the basis for all learning that took place during the project. Traditional concepts such as written communication, research, citing resources, and plagiarism were perceived as relevant to the students because the wiki provided them opportunity for exploring the project through the use of technology.





MRS. BERGMANN’S WEATHER CLASS WIKI (EM 10/23/11)

Mrs. Bergmann’s classroom wiki is located at http://bergmannvikings.wikispaces.com/ and it is for grade 6 students at Lesher IB World Middle School in Fort Collins, Colorado.



The name of her wiki is Mrs. Bergmann’s Classroom Wiki. The class that created the wiki is in Lesher IB World Middle School in Fort Collins, CO. (1400 Stover St. Fort Collin, Colorado). The wiki includes information related to Mrs. Bergmann’s Social Studies lessons. One thing good with it is that some of the lessons are correlated to other subjects in the curriculum like Science, Reading and Writing like for example the lesson on weather and climate (http://bergmannvikings.wikispaces.com/6th+Grade+Geo+Activities) where it requires the students to read and write sentences. There are also some lesson that required vocabulary words. The wiki also helps supplement the resources for the students to help them understand the lesson better. The wiki provides information about what is happening in her classroom. There is a calendar of events that the students can look at as well as classroom notes, activities syllabus and course outline. The wiki also gets both the students and parents involved like they are free to use the website to see what the students are doing in class and to check what they missed in case they were absent. The left side of the site provides links for information into different units throughout the class. There are some useful websites that can be explored. Also found in the wiki are notes, activities, videos, power point presentations and other multimedia to strengthen the students’ learning and understanding of the lessons. There is a “notify me” page which is a link that shows whether there were changes in the content of the wiki.



The wiki addresses the students’ different learning styles with the teacher’s guidance. It integrates technology into the instruction. I think it makes the students more engaged and it develops the students’ skills in reading, writing and research.



The teacher provided most of the content on the wiki but there were lessons for discussion. There was this part in the wiki where students were asked to discuss the questions in the lesson with a partner. Students were encouraged to participate and be part of the wiki. The students do their own research to come up with answers to questions in the weather notes. Then they can submit the completed report to the teacher in the wiki.

In one lesson, the students did some exploring and research in the internet about the 5 themes of Geography. Students and parents are also free to contact Mrs. Bergmann about questions they want to ask or inquire about the wiki.



The feature in the wiki that stood out to me was the video on a rap song about the five themes of geography. Students nowadays learn differently and the way the lesson was put through a rap song motivates the students (especially that they are 6th graders) and helps them connect and relate to the lesson for easy recall, learning and understanding. I do believe and consider that wiki achieved Velcro learning in this teaching. It made learning for them fun and the teacher was able to communicate to the students in their current style which is rap (the in thing for the youth today).



I believe that there was benefit for the students by learning the lesson on a wiki as opposed to a non-technological format. The lesson was made more fun and more relevant for the students. It required the students do their own research thereby making them learn on their own. The teacher only acted as a guide and facilitator.





Team 8 Blue Save the World (DT10/23/11) The name of this wiki space is Team 8 Blue. It is an 8th grade Science class. This is the web address http://team8bluesavestheworld.wikispaces.com/ . I am not sure of the exact location, however through their goal statement I found that they reside in Pennsylvania. This site is specifically set up for a particular unit of study, in this case Alternative Energy. Their ultimate goal is to write a persuasive letter to the elected officials in their state to promote the best renewable energy resources for their state. The majority of the information on this site was created by the students however the original idea came from their class teacher Mrs. Laguna. The wiki is organized with a sidebar at the left to specific topics that the students are researching. These include places to organize notes, one particular student’s blog, project and picture links, and information about public officials.



I believe this would be categorized as Velcro learning. The students research available renewable resources and then they apply this information by trying to persuade their state government to form an environmentally friendly energy program in their home state. This connects to the students’ civic responsibility as a Pennsylvanian and shows that anyone can make a difference.



The feature on the wiki I like the most is how it links back to their original class wiki. It allows you to see the other activities they are working on in their classroom. I think the benefit to this wiki is that the information is located in one easily accessible area and allows the students to collaborate with each other.





Let's Go West! (AS 10/23/11)







The “Let's Go West!” can be found at http://gowest.wikispaces.com/ . I'm unable to locate the location of the class(es) that produced this wiki, but the students are 3rd graders. Their wiki covers the westward expansion along the Oregon trail to share their research with others. The teachers seem to have played a facilitator type role, assigning tasks to various students and groups and helping them to learn how to do various things to complete their part of the project. The students researched and created all the content on the wiki minus the reflection page by the teachers. Their content ranges from timelines, narratives, and illustrations to recipes for food made by those traveling the trail. The content is arranged into different pages based on the subject matter: one page for weather, one for food, one clothing, etc. Students did a great amount of research to find various information, using images found online in some cases, sometimes images that they created themselves and narratives that they put into their own words. On the wiki's home page there is a map that you can see how many people have visited the site and where the visitors are accessing the page from, this stood out to me. I thought this was a very good way for the students to see how far their work is being seen from, how much of an impact they can make by having things online. It seems that in this project the students learned many things, such as using the internet to do research, creating image files, editing typed text, posting files, and working as a team to name a few. It sounds from the teachers reflection that doing this project online created a lot of excitement for the students and anytime students are excited about learning is a plus. This excitement leads me to believe that the learning was Velcro Learning with both sides of the velcro. This project being of technological nature made it more interesting to the students than it may have been if it were just something they hung in their classroom. Plus, they get to see where it is viewed all over the world! I would even be excited about that. All in all it seems this project seems like it was fun for the students and teachers (they even have a fun stuff section) as well as a great learning experience for both.

Michelle Lewis


Education In The Age of Technology


TBE 640/LEC/ON15-2011/FALL/40


10/21/11


//Wee Web Wonders://A Public Showcase for Creative Web Tools For and By Kids Website(ML 10/21/11)The website for this particular wiki is: http://weewebwonders.pbworks.com



I was unable to find a spot on the wiki that identified where the class was that created the wiki because it sounded like it was developed as a collaborative effort by kids from all over the country.



This wiki stated that it was created for students ages 8-12.

The primary focus of this wiki was to introduce various web tools to kids by integrating literacy and technology.

I was able to locate a description of the purpose of the wiki :



“Wee Web Wonders is an interactive site to showcase educational and creative uses of the major web tools used in the Creative Web Tools For and By Kids program. These include, but are not limited to, VoiceThread, Scratch, Podcasts, Slide Sharing, Sketchcast. Each page features a student example of the use of that web tool, widgets for visitors to rate and review the tool, a place for comments, and some fun, interactive games.”



The thing I thought that was so neat about this wiki was that it was created by kids for kids so they seem to be the teachers.



The students play a huge role on this wiki because they were the creators of this wiki. They also are the ones who added student examples of the major web tools introduced on this wiki. It was very engaging as I felt myself wanting to learn more about the various we tools, especially a program called Voice Threads. I really liked how this wiki was organized and how user-friendly it was. It seemed very easy to use and sift my way through its many components. While on this wiki, I was able to click on a short video made by someone who was passionate about using technology to help meet students’ individual learning needs. I also was able to view a mini-technology survey taken by students that educated me on their views of using technology.I think the feature that stood out to me the most on this wiki was the fact that it was created by students for students. It was evident that the teacher allowed the students to take the lead role in creating this wiki. There were many examples of student work found throughout this wiki. There were also interactive games for the students to play.



Would you categorize what the students learned as Velcro Learning as described in our text? Explain.I do believe that there it greatly this wiki was a great benefit to all students who had the opportunity to use it. I feel as though it created a hands-on collaborative environment for students. I feel it was a wiki that provided students with many opportunities to explore the various web tools/programs and then apply the skills they learned. I also believe that it allowed students not only think creatively but also complete a meaningful task using the information they learned.



2nd Grade Class Wiki (MS 10/23/11)



Mrs. Harju’s 2nd Grade Class Wiki located, at http://wikiharju.wikispaces.com/ is meant for use by her second graders at St. Stephen Catholic School inEast Grand Rapids,MI. The subject areas covered by this wiki vary from assignments and projects relating to Language Arts & Spelling to Math, Science, Social Studies, and Religion.



It seems this wiki was developed mainly to share and showcase student work and what they were learning. The content and framework for this wiki is created by the teacher, Mrs. Harju, but the students are the main contributors and links to their work are provided. Furthermore, each student seems to have their own page where their individual work is placed. Big topic group projects are listed on the left side of the wiki as clickable links and usually involve video or animation.



The pages on the wiki are mainly organized into clickable links on the left side or on the main pages. Most of the information is pretty easy to find, but some of it seems randomly placed or under the wrong heading. This leads me to believe students may have placed this info/work on the wiki and didn’t know where it needed to be located. A majority of the content is student work in the form of class projects like dinosaur stories using Glogster, Monsters using Animoto video, Langston Hughes Voice Threads, and video songs. In addition, there are links to student work under their own names on the student page.



I really like that the students are the highlight of this wiki. It is mainly focused on them, their work, and their efforts. The students are only in second grade, but seem to be responsible for a majority of the content on this wiki. A lot of the projects are video-based featuring the students, which puts a real-life feel to their work.



I think this qualifies as Velcro learning, as the students are using technology to create a lot of their work, which they seem to be enjoying. In addition, many of the projects are collaborative involving the use of computers which is a benefit to the students’ learning. This encourages creativity and the students are engaged in meaninful work. If they are engaged, they will learn more.



Mr. Geib’s Assembly of Demigods (AM 10/22/2011)



The name of this wiki is Constitutional Convention Gets An Update, and it can be found at the following URL: http://constcon2010.wikispaces.com/home. This wiki was created at Foothill Technology High School in Ventura, California. Mr. Geib’s sophomore U.S. History class participated in this wiki, and their purpose was to display their reenactment of Constitutional Convention and share their experiences in forming a governing document.



Mr. Geib up specific areas on the wiki that organize the students’ information. It appears that each group of students were required to use other web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, audio recordings, video recordings, pictures, Youtube, and written text. The teacher must have trained the students on how to use the web 2.0 tools and emphasized their appropriate use for educational purposes. It also appears that a lot of the work was done in the classroom. Mr. Geib provided video and audio capturing devices. He also provided classtime for students to work on content. Judging from viewing the wiki photos, the teacher also facilitate discussions held between groups in their reenactment of the Constitutional Convention.



The students in Mr. Geib’s classroom created all of the content in the wiki. They were the creators of literature, video, and audio. The students successfully uploaded all three forms of media. When you look at this wiki, all the groups had their own hyperlink which takes you to a separate page on the wiki. Each group had its own website, but it was within the framework of the Mr. Geib’s wiki. The labeling of the hyperlink describes the class period, level of students (sophomores), and the main idea of the web content. Most of the content was original and created by the students. Some of the content was images found online and scanned from the textbook to depict important moments in U.S. history and the reenactment. I noticed that students even dressed up for the reenactment and showed a lot of pride in displaying photos and video from this event.



The biggest feature of the wiki was how all sorts of media can be placed in one location. Wikis aren’t linear like Power Points or Word Documents. Each group posted photos, video, audio, images, text, and hyperlinks that all related to their content. In an industrial age classroom, students would have made a poster with pictures, drawings, and text. Maybe they would have turned in a script or a essay on the Constitutional Convention. This wiki is student centered learning and group collaboration at its best. So many things were placed in this wiki that engaged my mind and captured my attention. Without the different visual and auditory aids I wouldn’t have fully understand what they students learned and how much fun it was for them.



Velcro learning (Jukes, McCain, Crockett 54) is very evident in the use of wikis. The continent is original and plentiful. Students appear excited in their work and is displayed in the video and audio clips. Students reflected on what they learned and their experience in the reenactment. Technology played a very distinct role in making the knowledge relevant to today’s learners. The students did more meaningful work in this wiki than I have ever seen papers submitted by my middle school students.

Don’t Just Say 1000…Show It!! (KRC February 4, 2012)
Name: One Thousand Names http://1000names.wikispaces.com/home

Where: Westmount Elementary, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
Grade level: 1/2
Subject: Math, Reading, Spelling
Purpose: To show kids what a 1000 looks like.
Teacher Role: The teachers role in this wiki is to provide moderation to make sure entries added to the list are appropriate. The teacher also needs to insure that each child has a chance to enter some names and to show them how to enter.
Student Role: Login and enter names to the list. Learn how to do something easy using a wiki page. Monitor the page and see how it changes from day to day or week to week.
Who created content: I believe the teacher and her students started the page and then watched as others continued to add to it until the goal was reached.
Framework/Organization: The page is pretty basic in style using a simple listing with a generic table. It appears that later entries had difficulty adding new table rows and columns properly.
Content: Unfortunately, additional content is lacking. I would personally like to see links to sites that explain what a name means, its origins and maybe alternative spellings. Another link could show where in the world people are located who post their names. There could also be links to other forms of 1000. For example, you could show what $1000 looks like in pennies or nickels or other denominations.
Feature: The feature that stood out to me was its simplicity. A project like this would be a great way to get younger kids involved in a digital project without being overly complicated.
Velcro?: As a beginner wiki, I think this is a great way for younger students to get into the digital world that they are already becoming a large part of. A simple wiki in this format or style would also be great for a teacher that is unsure of his/her digital abilities. It will allow them to get their feet wet and become more comfortable with technology.
Benefits: This wiki, while simple, had many great benefits for younger students. First it is simple enough that anyone can show the students how to do it. The younger students get easy experience at working with wikis and that can lead to more difficult assignments later on. This is a good building block for future lessons. This same lesson could be done off a computer but it would be cumbersome at best and I believe the students would become bored fast.




Mr. Driscoll’s Class (RV 02/05/2012)

Name: Mr. Driscoll’s Class Wiki http://driscoll-class.wikispaces.com/Home

Location: Putnam, CT
Grade level: High School grades
Subject: Social Studies, History, Global Studies and several other social classes
Purpose: Flipped classroom incorporating educational technology and activity learning where students watch lectures at home at their own pace and incorporates several types of multimedia and discuss online with the teacher and class.
Teacher Role: The teacher’s role is to become a supportive guide through the learning process.
Student Role: The student’s role is to watch video lectures and use the resources and tools for projects, simulations and games to engage them in a fun learning environment.
Who created content: The teacher, Mr. Driscoll created most of the content on the wiki
Framework/Organization: The wiki is organized with resources for each course with different discussion topics and forums, student collaboration and project posts to different links and interactive learning games.

The wiki that I like the most was Mr. Driscoll’s Class Wiki. Mr. Driscoll is a high school social studies teacher and his wiki consists of many different social and history type classes in a flipped classroom environment. This wiki has incorporated educational technology and activity learning where students watch lectures at their own pace from home through different multimedia venues. His flipped classes are meant to engage students to learn from interactive lectures at home and then discuss or do homework and group projects in the classroom instead of listening to a lecture in the class and going home to do homework and work on projects by themselves.

The classroom is designed to engage student’s interest and involve the classroom in fun learning assignments. This is great when so many teachers only have 45 minutes a class to engage the whole class but usually only end up spending their time reading the assignments out of a book that was provided. This setting has given Mr. Driscoll the ability to be a supportive guide through the learning process and not just a lecturer. The students’ role is to use the resources, tools for projects, and study material given and come into class to collaborate and share their ideas and work together on projects so they have more time to think, learn and explore the material given to them.

This wiki was organized by Mr. Driscoll with a downloaded version of the book and screencast lectures, where the student can choose the subheading or chapter and follow along with pictures from the book as well. This was the feature that stood out to me the most. Here are a couple of screencast examples put together by Mr. Driscoll http://www.screencast.com/users/Mr_Driscoll/folders/World%20History/media/7074786e-4f35-45ed-a988-bf0d195fd35f . I would have loved to learn in this environment when I was younger. The wiki was also organized with resources for each course. There is a list of different discussion topics and forums, student collaboration and project posts to different links and interactive learning games. In the student collaboration section you will find many projects posted by the students for the given assignments. I do believe Mr. Driscoll has incorporated the Velcro learning because this type of environment helps a student stay on course with their class even if they missed a day or two while also giving them the knowledge which is relevant to the courses being taught.


Ms. Lew’s Looney Land of Literacy! (KS 2/10/12)


Name: Ms. Lew’s Looney Land of Literacy (http://mslew.wikispaces.com/home )
Where: Farwell Middle School; Farwell, MI
Grade Level: 8th grade
Subject Area: English/Language Arts
Purpose: A workshop approach to reading and writing in Language Arts classes – students maintain their own portfolios of writing and books they’ve read, and have access to other student’s portfolios and projects.
Teacher Role: The teacher created and maintains the site, and edits material students upload to their portfolios. She also maintains the daily, weekly, and monthly schedules and uses the Wiki for announcements
Student Role: Students read and write daily in class – they are expected to upload writing to their portfolios, add books to their book talk folder, and create technology-based Language Arts projects that are added to their portfolios.
Who created the majority of the content: It is ultimately student-based learning, so most of the content is student produced. Portfolios, book talks, and multi-genre projects are produced by students with editing from their teacher.
Framework/Organization: The teacher who created the Wiki, Ms. Lew is pretty organized. She has the calendar for the entire school year on her Wiki, so students who are absent know exactly what they are missing and don’t get behind. She has included a bunch of resources that middle schoolers might need to help with their writing, and she used pictures, colorful backgrounds, and graphics to make the Wiki appealing to the eyes.
Content: Ms. Lew does have a links page on her Wiki that gives students resources for rhyming, proper citation techniques, book reviews, fun Language Arts based games, and even digital story builders. The majority of the content, however, is original student created work. Students review books, upload writing for other students to read, and create portfolios of work and projects that are available for all students to see.
Feature that stood out: Multi-Genre Project. Ms. Lew had her students do a research paper on a topic that they were interested in. It was NOT a typical research paper, however! She had students do research and then find multiple ways of presenting their information. Each student needed to use at least 4 different genres in their project, which was uploaded to the Wiki. For example: the exemplary project examples involved text, graphic design (usually a t-shirt design), visual media, some videos, and other technology. It was a true multi-faceted approach to a research paper that I just thought was spectacular.
Velcro Learning?: Absolutely! Students are expected to read a book of their choice and then write a review of it online. Students are encouraged to post their writing on the Wiki page to get feedback from their classmates. The multi-genre project is the best example of Velcro Learning that I found in my cursory exploration into the world of educational Wiki pages. This project requires students to do research on a topic of their choice (both online and in the library), do some writing, and then use their strengths in technology to present the information in a variety of ways.
Was there Benefit?: I see many benefits to using this Wiki in conjunction with class work. It gives students a chance to use technology in a subject that isn’t known for incorporating technology, so already students are engaged. It gives students the chance to see examples and read other student work, as well as know what to expect in class for the next week. I would have absolutely loved having something like this when I was in middle school!


Monster-Making: Global Kids Working Together (KW 2/10/12)


Name: The Global Monster and the web address is www.smithclass.org/proj/Monsters/
Where: Mr. Smith’s fifth grade class in Payson, IL
Grade Level: This project is meant for students in elementary school. Students from around the country and world have participated in making monsters.
Subject: This project actively addresses goals, objectives, skills in Math, Literacy, Social-Emotional, Fine Arts, Social Studies, Foreign Language, and it also meets National Educational Technology Standards. The link to explore these standards is http://www.smithclass.org/proj/Monsters/monster-standards.htm.
Purpose: The purpose of this Monster Project is to teach children how to work together and compromise in a group process. They also learn that building a monster together is a very big job. Through this process of collaboration a monster is made. For example, a fourth grade class in Hannibal, MO wrote a description of what the monsters' feet should look like (three feet wide and five feet long, rectangular, tie dyed, spiky hair, slimy, violet warts, three chewed up green and blue nails—1 foot long each with blood, and swarming flies), therefore, making a creative contribution to “Fiesta Foo Foo the Dragon Dude” (the winning monster of 2011).
Teacher Role: The teachers’ role in the project is to guide the semi-structured environment and keep students involved in a collaborative large group of classrooms around the world.
Student Role: The students’ role is to choose a Monster body part and work together to design a description of that part. After all the body part descriptions have been compiled, each class builds its own monster using everyone’s descriptions. There were some pictures posted on the site that were very creative!
Creator: The creator of this wiki was Dr. Terry K. Smith. He currently is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum & Instruction, Teacher Education at Western Illinois University. Even though Dr. Smith created this project, it is the students around the world that carry it out with their creative hard work and ingenuity.
Framework/Organization: This wiki is organized by introducing the Monster Project and the objective of Global Kids Working Together. It has links to show the instructional and educational benefits and also how a new class can get involved. It gives examples of what classrooms around the world have contributed to the building of monsters and also some great pictures of the kids.
Content: This wiki links you to a vast array of other project based learning ideas. The linked websites have also been created by Dr. Smith. These links explore many new and exciting topics for classrooms to get involved in. http://www.smithclass.org/proj/projects.htm
Feature: The main feature that stood out to me was just how easy this wiki was to explore and to navigate. The content was fun and the pictures posted of the involved classrooms demonstrated that the participants were also having fun. The collaboration and designs of these monsters showed that kids working together can accomplish anything!
Velcro Learning: Definitely! This project will have an impact on the participants for years to come. The students did not just learn that it is better to work together to produce positive outcomes, they actually had to do it. They learned that getting their own way is not always what is going to happen, but that others have great ideas too and they need to compromise in this world.
Benefit: I think that one of the biggest benefits of this lesson being on a wiki is that students were able to interact with other students and classrooms around the globe. This project exposed the students to technology, engaged the students in creative thinking and also gave them hands-on experience in arts and crafts. It also provided the students with a sense of ownership, they created a unique monster to show to the world.


MR. TROMP'S GRADE WIKI (SS 2/11/12)

Name and Web Address: Mr. Tromp’s Grade Wiki http://mrtromp.wikispaces.com

Location: Black Hills Primary (Elementary), Victoria Australia

Grade Level: 2nd grade

Subjects Covered: Science, Social Studies, Reading, Writing, Math, Art and Music

Purpose: To offer students a place to: update their personal link to the wiki, post projects from school, find projects that can be completed at home, find information about daily activities, check out science and social studies videos, and view announcements.

Teacher Role: The teacher’s role is to update the announcements and the classroom information.

Student Role: The student’s role is to update their personal link to the wiki, post videos of interest and projects from school.

Who Created Content: The teacher, Mr. Tromp, created the majority of the content.

Framework/Organization: The framework of the wiki is set up by subject. Mr. Tromp doesn’t label each subject as Science…Math…Reading, he gives each subject a fun title like “At the Sea”, “Rocket Balloons”, “Rockets”, etc. There are links to science videos along with both class project posts and individual student project posts.

Feature that stood out: The feature that stood out was the individualization that Mr. Tromp’s wiki gives the students. Under the icon “see more” each individual student has their own page labeled with their name. Within most of these icons was a page with 3 pictures of what must have been a fieldtrip to Queenscliff, along with 3 – 4 sentences describing what is happening in the pictures or about their fieldtrip. What an awesome feature for a class of 2nd graders!

Velcro Learning: Definitely! Students were required to not only write about their recent fieldtrip, but to include pictures and post their “mini-story” onto their own portion of the wiki. Not only does the relevancy and knowledge work together, but the students also can gain confidence seeing something on-line that they created and hopefully sharing their “mini-story” with family and friends at home.

Benefit to wiki learning: There are a couple of benefits to the Mr. Tromp’s wiki. Not only does the wiki create Velcro Learning and confidence in children, but also allows a wonderful avenue of communication among all the stakeholders in each students life. The student has the ability to learn through the wiki, share ideas and stories, and have some contact with school even though school might not be open. The teacher has another tool to help students learn, communicate with students and their parents, and to publicize what their class has been doing. The parent has another avenue of communication with both the student and teacher, the ability to view how and what their children are doing in school, and to keep up-to-date with assignments and announcements. The administration of the school has the ability to market their school through the wiki along with gaining a better understanding of not only how students are performing, but how the employee/teacher is performing. Great benefit to all stakeholders!

Mrs. Anderson’s 2nd Grade Class (SW 2/12/12)
The class wiki that I will be reviewing is for a 2nd grade classroom at an unnamed elementary school on Vancouver Island, British Columbia in Canada. The site address is http://mrsanderson10.pbworks.com/w/page/33263525/FrontPage. This particular wiki space was one of the most advanced sites I have seen for such a young age. However, the entire site is completely accessible and written in terms that a 2nd grade student would have no problem navigating through. The page covers all of the basic subjects (Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies, Music, and Art), and provides personal portfolios for each student in the class to show off their work.

This wiki seems to serve a huge purpose for the students in the classroom. It allows them to view each other’s work as well as explore multiple sites that directly relate to what they are being taught in the classroom. While it seems to me the teacher plays the main role in posting content and providing information for her class, the students are the ones who are featured on the entire site. Along with their personal portfolios, the teacher has pictures and videos about what they have been doing in their classroom, and even on their field trips. The students are also able to post comments on each other’s work, or on any pages they may have questions on.

I absolutely love the way that this wiki is organized. The main page has slideshows of the students working on various projects in the classroom, and information about their recent field trips. It also shows what is up and coming in the classroom or to the wiki itself. The subjects can be navigated through on the right side of the page, and even with the large amount of information, it is pretty easy to navigate. There is so much content on this page, I could hardly believe it. Each subject provides a list of interactive sites that the students would likely use on a regular basis. This wiki

The content learned by the students using this wiki definitely can be categorized as Velcro learning. Everything on the page is relevant and can be related to our everyday lives. Even links that were placed there just as resources, or just for fun, seem to be things that the students could go back and refer to, even after moving on from the class.

One thing in particular feature that stood out to me was a link to listen to owl poems read by the students. I thought this was such a great idea. Each of the students read their unique poems. It was a different way of presenting work rather than standing in front of the class. Each could be listened to, and then the students could make audio comments on the poems.

I think that students benefit tremendously from using a wiki. They always have the opportunity to check the wiki space – it can be accessed from home as well as school. Students can provide feedback to each other, and are learning how to run a website, which prepares them for the future. There are many digital features on a wiki space that many adults still have trouble with. By learning each of these things at a young age, the students gain more experience. The wiki also helps students learn how to organize their thoughts more effectively.

Not only do I feel like this wiki has enhanced the learning of each of the students in this class, but I also believe it had to have helped the parents tremendously. I think it is so wonderful that the parents are able to see their students work directly. They can access all of the same information as the students, allowing them to know exactly what the students are working on and how to assist them if they need it. This provides such a large connection between school and home, and it can only benefit everyone in the end. I would have loved the opportunity to take part in a wiki space like this one when I was this age. It must be so much fun for the students, teacher, and the parents.


Mrs. Walheim’s Middle School Band Wiki (LH 2/10/12)
Bmsband
http://bmsband.pbworks.com/w/page/44611540/FrontPage
This wiki was created in Berlin, WI by the Middle School Band Instructor Mrs. Walheim.

6th, 7th,8th grade band classes, families and school staff use this wiki as well as Solo Ensemble participants and Honor’s Band members.

This wiki covers all things band related for middle school band members and families.

The purpose of the wiki is to share information about band practice, band lessons, upcoming performances, practice songs, videos of concerts, photos and entertainment with Mozart the hamster!

Mrs. Walheim has created this site for the band members and their families to use. At this time, she is the only person able to edit the wiki. I spoke with her about this and she said that she may transition the site to allow for interaction. But that at this time, the school has decided the wiki should remain as is.

Students and families are encouraged to use the site as a resource. Editing is not allowed, at this time. Allowing parents to upload photos from concerts and events would be a nice addition to the site.

Mrs. Walheim created the content of the website with feedback from students, families and staff.

The wiki is organized like a website, in that it does not allow user interaction. The Front Page (home page) provides information to the students about band schedules and current events in middle school band. There is a navigator bar on the right side if you want to go straight to a topic of interest. For example, if you have a concert coming up and you are not sure what to wear, you can go to “uniform” on the navigator bar and it will direct you to that information.

The content of the wiki is informational, educational and entertaining. Students and families refer to the wiki for instructions, schedules , video recordings of concerts and practice tips for solo ensemble and honors band. Mozart the Hamster and the featured Video of the Week are fun to check out. Last week’s video was Jazz for Cows. The kids really liked this!

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lXKDu6cdXLI)

The band lesson schedule is useful to many people including parents, middle school staff and the student. Band lessons require the student to leave a regularly scheduled class twice a week. Occasionally this interferes with quizzes, tests and presentations. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate with the teacher if a band lesson will interfere with an important class assignment.

The one feature of this wiki that I find most useful is the video section. I was unable to attend the band concert this past week in person, but I was able to watch the concert via the wiki. Out of state family and friends are also able to keep up with my daughter’s band experience through the wiki. In the past I have tried to video record the concert to share with family. The quality was never very good given that I was recording from somewhere in the audience. Members of the staff at Berlin Middle School have commented that they would be lost without the lesson schedules. One teacher in particular plans tests around band lessons since so many students are gone on certain days.

Velcro Learning-“When knowledge and relevance combine to make learning stick in the minds of the students.” (Understanding the Digital
Generation, Juke, McCain, Crockett, pg 53, para.1) The Berlin Middle School Band Wiki is an example of Velcro learning on many levels. Everything on the wiki is relevant to the band student, the band student’s families and for other members of the middle school staff. For example, Solo Ensemble for a 6th grade student who has never participated is made less stressful after viewing videos on the wiki. For the more serious and experienced band student there are videos of performances and new music for them to listen to and practice at home. For the 5th grader deciding whether or not to sign up for band, the wiki may give them a better idea of the experience. And for the families who have to buy or rent an expensive instrument, the band wiki can make or break the decision to get involved in the program or not. Our family chose to purchase our daughter’s alto sax after being introduced to the wiki. We saw the number of opportunities for our child to participate in a variety of band experiences outside of school, we saw past concert’s , we noted the schools support of the program and the wiki made it seem like fun.


Kathy Cassidy’s 1000 Names (LW 11.5.06)

This wiki on 1000 names http://1000names.wikispaces.com/home was an extremely simple idea of giving a visual for the number 1000. For first and second grade children to understand how many items are needs to reach the number 1000, the teacher made a box chart with places for students and others to add their names, with the goal of reaching 1000 names.

Although the children who originally participated were from Canada, there were entries from all over the world (and yes, I added my name; I am number 1824). Teaching young children how to count, list, and collaborate on a project were aspects of the math assignment there were extremely beneficial.

This wiki only linked to their homepage and a jpg format, so there were not many other opportunities to see how other teachers had broached the subject of counting. As a new participant to wikiing (not sure if that’s even a word), I was glad to see that a wiki did not have to be complicated and that even elementary children were able to add their names.
Admittedly, this wiki is older than other examples that I looked at, but I wanted to point out that in Velcro Learning, counting and being able to understand the concept of 1000 is still relevant, no matter what the calendar year. One of the obvious benefits of this wiki is that it is difficult to have 1000 of something to show as an example, but listing objects (or names) on the list is a visual that children can understand. I also thought that it was interesting that for the list to become long, the participants needed to enlist of others to help reach the goal.




Sattler Science (SW 6/28/12)

The name of my wiki is Misswegnersclass// and the address is http://misswegnersclass.wikispaces.com/Shelfari. The wiki was used in my own classroom in Wrightstown, Wisconsin. The grade level of the students was for fifth graders. The wiki covered each subject area and was updated weekly. The wiki was for parents and students to be able to be updated with current events going on in the classroom. In addition, assignment links were posted and extra enrichment links were included for students to use outside of class. In addition, my students were able to click on various reading blog links when we did literature circles. Depending on the unit, the wiki changed and had blogs, web seminars, videos, and interactive discussion questions for the students.

Specifically, the page Shelfari was used as a learning tool for students. As the teacher, I set the foundation for the students by providing the shelf and guiding the students as to how to use this. From there, students were able to take ownership of their reading and sharing the great knowledge from books with other students. After reading a book, the students posted their book to Shelfari. They had to create a comment and write reviews for this book. It was interactive for other students to learn from this as well.

As the teacher, I would update the wiki on a weekly basis and change it according to the various academic units. There was a news page, google calendar, shelfari, math, reading, language, spelling, and social studies page.

The students’ role was to interactively participate in the shelfari. In addition, during our units, the students went onto the page together to complete the assigned tasks. They were able to go on at home and see the new enrichment activities posted as well.

I learned to create my wiki space through another colleague. Her wikispace was www.sattlerscience.wikispaces.com. She used this wiki in Wrightstown, Wisconsin in a 6th grade Science class. This wikispace provided students with the opportunity to take the knowledge they learned in the classroom and enrich themselves through technology. In addition, parents at home are able to see what the students are involved in during the classroom.

The teacher, for her science students, created this wiki. One part that particularly stuck out to me was the student resource page. I recently just added this onto my wiki for next year. By providing student resources such as a flash card maker, it can provide students with ideas to motivate them to study. In addition, the parent survey section I found to be very useful. The survey allowed parents to share information about their student to help the teacher get to know them better. I think this is excellent for parents, students, and teachers. By including sections in a wiki for students to interactively study the material, and then having the students do this in class it creates “Velcro Learning” or learning that truly sticks. Hands on activities that provide students to create meaning to an assignment will allow them to create mental experience knowledge, rather than simply short term memorization. That is the true benefit of online learning in a wiki.

The Discovery –Ism Project (LD 6/29/12)
I came across a wiki called The Discovery –Ism Project found on http://discoveryisms.wikispaces.com/. I was instantly intrigued.
The Discovery –Ism Project is a classroom project created by Cresthill Middle School, which must be a school for learners with Gifted and Talented needs. This wiki focuses on structuring your own belief system. The belief system is part of history. The teacher used a quote from Socrates to grab students’ interest as well as make it clear it is a history lesson while also allowing students to internalize the material about themselves. The teacher states that he wants the students to know themselves, completely so they exude the confidence they need to be successful in high school.

The teacher created an Introduction and listed Requirements with imbedded examples for students to see. Then each student created their own belief system and commented on at least three other belief structures, which resulted in most of the content being student driven. Various forms of technology were utilized to attain the end result of each student’s belief system that was shared on the wiki.

The table of contents allows you to see what the teacher posted on the wiki. The Navigation area on the side allows you to click on the collective pages, where resources are shared between students, as well as each student’s Individual –Ism that he/she created. At one time there must have been a discussion board for students to post into because some of the collective pages refer to this. Most of the students revisions occurred in 2007, so it is a little bit outdated which is why the discussion board is inactive.

The feature that stood out the most to me was the use of the podcast within each student’s –Ism. They also created a seal for their –Ism through an imbedded link called Seal Generator which brought me to www.says-it.com/seal/. I thought this was really neat. Incorporating this technology benefited the students in many more ways that couldn’t have been done without utilizing technology. I also thought it was a great idea to do a project on beliefs so students can determine what they think their beliefs are as well as see some of their strengths; especially in middle school or with students with disabilities. Since they will internalize this material by using personal experiences and collaborating with others, they will experience “Velcro Learning” or learning that sticks with them.
One of the unintended benefits to the band wiki is that it reduces some of the stigma of being a “band geek”. Being in band is cool at Berlin Middle School. There are a lot of activities for band members and the teacher is creative. I think the wiki speaks for the program in a positive way. An intended benefit is that the band wiki helps the students with their planning skills. If you are in band you have to know when and where you are scheduled to be. You must remember your instrument, to practice at home and have the practice sheets signed by an adult and you must attend lessons for a grade. My husband and I give Mrs. Walheim a great deal of credit for helping our 7th grade daughter be the organized planner that she is.

Mr. Monson's Grade 5 Classroom Wiki (BC 9/13/12)

The website I found was called Mr. Monson's Grade 5 Classroom Wiki (http://monsonclassroom.wikispaces.com) . His classroom is located in Duluth, Minnesota, but he is globally connecting his 5th grade class all while focusing on their writing, geography from around the world, and reading skills...all typical 5th grade classroom curriculum. The purpose of this wiki is to have both his students and global community members contribute their thoughts through responses to a monthly question. The kids were then to connect the location of each writer to learn new geography and a little bit about the culture of that location. Their class goal was to get 1000 responses per month to whatever questions they asked. The kids needed to contribute both the question for the month and responses in order to make it to 1,000.

The teacher is clearly the facilitator helping to create the site and post the question on the wiki. However, the students are the ones who actually contribute to the content by creating the month's question, responding to it the question, and analyzing others' responses. While the framework is laid by the teacher, the majority of the content is student created through their responses. The material that is contributed by online visitors is then analyzed for geography and culture by the students therefore making it student relevant.

The general explanation and purpose of the wiki is laid out by Mr. Monson at the start. He explains why the class has the website and how it will be used . And while the kids come up with the monthly question, I would assume that each monthly question is added to the site by the teacher as well. However, each student has their own wiki account and they are able to log in and reply to the question posted on the page each month.

The only issue with this website is that it doesn't link out to anywhere outside of the class (only to the class blog). Because of the age of the kids, I can assume it may be for protective reasons especially when giving out the location and name of a writer, which includes the students. However, it might be nice for Mr. Monson to include a Mapquest link when he asks for the location of each contributor. This would tie in the geography with the push of a button for his students.

A feature of the wiki that I really like is the link to the class blog. Obviously this teacher enjoyed connecting his classroom to the world, but in the class blog, he reveals that he recently took a new teaching job in South Africa. Now his former 5th grade students can track his new adventure in South Africa through their previous class blog.

The benefit of this assignment was one that couldn't be obtained merely through classwork. Connecting students to responses from outside of their community, state, and even country opened their eyes to a global culture. Learning about others and their likes/dislikes is easily read about in book, but when they're writing TO YOU and your class on the wiki, it made it all the more personal. Similarly, it brought alive various local, state and global geography for students to learn about in a more personal way, a way that can only be done well through technology.

As far as Velcro Learning, it is clearly going on here on this wiki. The knowledge the teacher was trying to pass on, geography, was made relevant to the students when they were being personally responded to by people from that location. The personal connection, as it usually does, made the information/knowledge relevant, thus “sticking” to the brain of the students better as referenced by Jukes, McCain and Crockett (p.52).


Creative Tools for and By Kids(NP 9/17/12)

I am absolutely inspired after coming across the wiki Creative Tools for and By Kids. I feel strongly that this page, created by students in grades 3-5 from Sahuarita Unified School District #30 near Tucson, Arizona, is a perfect example of Seymour Papert's article “Technology in Schools” about using technology to help improve the way we educate in our country (http://cw.marianuniversity.edu/rstucky/PDF/TechnologyInSchools.pdf). This entire wiki is an example of the power of technology when used as a means for learning. The address is http://weewebwonders.pbworks.com/w/page/9067396/FrontPage.

The purpose of this wiki is for students to cover topics all across the CORE curriculum with a focus on building and sharing digital literacy skills. Students were given the opportunity to navigate their own web-based student-designed learning projects and to safely share this learning with the community outside the classroom walls. This wiki also serves as an avenue for other students and teachers to learn about free online tools that can help learning come alive. Although all content appears to be created by students, Jackie Gerstein is the educator behind this amazing collection of learning. It appears Jackie plays the role of a guide who helps provide a space for student learning to take place. You can visit her personal teaching site at http://jackiegerstein.weebly.com/.

Creative Tools for and By Kids is a fantastic demonstration of the power of individualized/personalized learning. Not only were students gaining content knowledge through discovery and creation, they passed along many different unique online tools that other students can access for free with just a computer and an internet connection. The content is organized into sub-pages created by individual or groups of students on a particular content topic. Each page contains content information, but also informs visitors of how the pages were created by the author (the student). I really appreciate how the students who created this wiki were given an authentic audience and were given the challenge to make learning better for all. What a powerful message of empowerment and autonomy and great example of velcro learning, which is referenced by Jukes, McCain and Crockett (p. 52). I am sure this task was challenging to these students, but I have to believe the engagement was through the roof because of the relevance to each individual learner.

These students introduced some amazing tools on this wiki. Two tools were brand new to me. The first, http://www.voki.com/, helps students create an avatar in order to present through video and still remain anonymous. This really brought out the personality of each student. The second tool is http://www.dustball.com/cs/plagiarism.checker/. Here, you can check for plagiarism. Unfortunately, with the introduction to computer-based research, it is easy for students to plagiarize using the copy and paste functions on their computers. In the past, I have always just plugged student writing into a Google search, but this checker is much more thorough. I feel I can teach my students to use this tool to help them determine for themselves if they are “stealing” information for their projects. I highly recommend this wiki to all students and teachers. It really demonstrated the capability of young people when they are given an opportunity to create and innovate!



Team8bluesavestheworld (AW 9/16/12)

The wiki that I looked at was Team8bluesavestheworld at http://team8bluesavestheworld.wikispaces.com/, created by the 8th grade Science and Math classes at Milford Middle School in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. The teacher is Cathy Laguna and she made it so that these students are the ones collaborating on ideas, collecting information, taking notes, and drawing pictures of using technology to improve the understanding of Alternate Energy. The 8th graders are going to use this information to make a difference in the world, and when they complete their findings they will contact the proper officials to hopefully create change.

The students play the largest role in the development of this wiki. They take and write notes on things such as: nuclear energy, hydrogen fuel cells, wind energy, solar energy, fossil fuel, geothermal, and biomass. Other students can read this information and use it to further develop ideas and get background knowledge on each topic. They can also click class pages to get information from other classes on experiments and various comments from classmates. Students can incorporate drawings or pictures that they have made to show forms of alternate energy from their own creative perspectives. Some students even included posts and blogs about alternate energy resources. There are a variety of informative links on uses of alternate energy including a solar energy podcast, an animating website, and a place for new ideas. There are places to contact local officials and get their viewpoints on these ideas as well. One of the greatest features of this wiki was that the bulk of the work was from the students and their ideas.

This wiki created a learning environment that would be categorized as “Velcro Learning” (Jukes, McCain, and Crocket, p.53). Cathy Laguna, the 8th grade teacher, is allowing the students in her class to use technology in a variety of forms to learn about current and relevant uses of energy that would make a huge difference in our world. These students are using older information to create newer information all while researching and integrating math, science, politics, and writing. Jukes, McCain, and Crocket say that teachers need to know what is important to the students and use that to create relevance in teaching (p.53). If students do not think that information is useful it will not stick with them and they will not care to learn it. This wiki let the students decide what is important to post, and it gave them the opportunity to create pages that were relevant to them. The most beneficial aspect to learning this lesson on the wiki was the various viewpoints they could look at from their peers. The format was also easier to access and look at compared to having the information given in a non-technological format.

Harborview Elementary School, 4th and 5th grade classes (CV 09/16/12)

Name and web address of wiki: No official name for web page that I could find; http://anadrama.wikispaces.com/

Location of class that created the wiki: Juneau, Alaska

Grade Level: 4th and 5th graders

Subject areas covered: writing (story writing, collaborating) ecology (habitat), ichthyology (Coho salmon), current environmental issues (pollution)

Purpose of wiki:

*to allow students to collaborate and share ideas and ideals electronically

*demonstrate efficacy of technology in collaborating

  • encourage time management and sharing of ideas

*incorporate technology into writing

Role of teacher in the wiki assignment:

*encourage use of technology in writing through research

*create a place (wiki) for collaboration

*monitor and edit wiki

*to be a resource for topic

Role of student in the wiki assignment:

*collaborate with classmates

*research specific ecological details of Coho salmon

*post work on wiki

*demonstrate knowledge of story writing

*use technology and research decisively

Who created the majority of the wiki? The teacher created the wiki page and the assignment, as well as, provided the resource and skills needed to find the information needed about Coho salmon and how to use the wiki. A teacher also edited the wiki page.

The students controlled the wiki page. They created the actual story which included factual salmon habitat information.

Framework of wiki page: There was an introduction page that described the assignment and gave introductions on the class. There was a menu on the left side of the first page that allowed you to follow the journey of Sylvie, the Coho salmon. The first part of her journey began in the ocean and ended in the Riparian Zone. Each location was a page of her story. There were no links to other websites. There was only a poster that could be downloaded.



I must admit. I did not look at very many wiki examples before choosing this one. What caught my attention were the following:

*the environmental focus, specifically wetlands and estuaries

*incorporating technology into writing

*opportunities for collaborative writing

However, the most endearing aspect was the assignment/wiki page itself. The students created a story about a Coho salmon’s, Sylvie, journey. I found myself in tears by the time the story was over. The wiki page was not as elaborate as others but what it lacked in visual appeal it made up in quality of work. The story itself was a testament to the possibilities of wiki and collaborative technology. The students must have really talked to each other and collaborated extensively on possible story ideas to create such a moving story. Also, incorporating factual details about each habitat entailed very specific research. The subject matter was also relevant and brought the assignment “home”. All of the elements in the story from the Coho salmon to the habitats were parts of their everyday lives and town.

Assignments using technology can sometimes seem like a gimmick. However, this seemed like a very authentic, worth- while assignment because it provided skills the students could use for a lifetime. For example, the assignment required collaboration and learning how to technology in writing. I believe it was a worth-while assignment.



YE OLDE BROKEN ARROW PIRATE WIKI (MF 9/16/12)

The name of the wiki is “Ye Olde Broken Arrow Pirate Wiki” and the web address is: http://arrrpirates.wikispaces.com/home. It’s unclear where the class is located that created the Wiki, but they are 6th grade enhanced learning students (age 11-12). The wiki is based on their research done on Pirates. The purpose of the wiki is to show off their knowledge of the research process. They’ve gathered information and made this very thorough site for those interested in information about pirates.

One thing I love about this wiki is the very minimal role that the teacher plays. She has written the introduction “home” page, and also has provided a page for “How to find and cite sources”. Her only other contribution is in the final page, “evaluation”, where she provides the rubrics for grading the student’s work on the wiki. She is the contact for anyone who looks at the wiki and has questions, and in this laid out on the first home page. Other than that, students have created all of the content of the wiki.

The organization of the wiki page is something that really stands out to me. It’s very clear and easy to navigate, especially considering that most of the content is put in by students! Each link on the side is a different topic about Pirates, then within each heading, there are a few entries from the students, with titles as to what they are writing about. All content is about pirates in some way. Then, there is a bibliography and links page. I love that in this page, the students have entered in their own well-cited sources (using their teacher’s page about how to cite resources). They have also included links that they used, or thought were interesting. The organization is great, and is especially impressive due to the fact that 11 and 12-year olds put this together!

I also thought that there was great addition of imagery on the wiki. There are some pictures, but it’s not so distracting that it takes away from the content the students have added. Also, from what I can tell, the students themselves picked the images, because they coordinate with each “article” about pirates.

The benefit of using a wiki format for learning over a non-technological format is obvious in this case. The wiki is based entirely on doing online research, citing your sources, and it’s obvious that the teacher hoped to teach these skills through technology and the internet. And the students definitely succeeded. Without this technological format, the lesson would be halved: while the students may have been able to research information about pirates in books, the learning of how to research online, cite a source, and post to an online page was a big part of the lesson.

I would definitely categorize this wiki as an example of Velcro learning. While learning and researching about pirates is very interesting, it probably isn’t all that relevant to children. It draws in their interest, but then it needs the relevance piece. That is found in the secondary part of this wiki: the focus on learning to research, cite sources, and post to an online forum. This is extremely relevant for children, because research is incredibly important as they get older, and the ability to navigate the internet will continue to be more and more complex and important.



7th Grade Science Wikispace (SJ 9/16/12) http://ashscience7.wikispaces.com/home



The class that created this science wiki is a seventh grade class. I believe Ms. Nelson is the Science teacher. This wiki covers classification and biodiversity, microbes, protests, fungi, plants, animals, global warming, and the environment. The students have also created a list of everything new or incoming seventh graders should know. Using the wiki, students can take quizzes, access their homework calendar, and contribute to discussions by adding their own pictures, links, personal experiences, and insight. The framework for the wiki seems to be mainly created by the teacher. It is the student’s job to fill in the gaps with their knowledge and insight as the topics are covered. The wiki seems to be used both as a learning and classroom tool and medium for getting information from the teacher to the students. Sometimes it’s content knowledge and sometimes it’s just random facts and announcements.



The wiki seems fairly student and visitor friendly. The first page welcomes the visitor. Everything the student needs for the current topic is on that first page. The students use the key words on the left side of the page to visit each subtopic. If they click on “ashgrade7 wiki” at the bottom, it will bring them to the home page. On the home page, students can find their homework calendar, seventh grade basics, a medium to communicate with other students, currents events and general knowledge, and other places for students to just have fun and be kids.



After visiting quite a few wikis, the one thing that stood out to me was how easy the wiki was to navigate. As a visitor and non-member to the wiki, I was able to find my way around very easily. I knew exactly where I was going when I clicked on each link. The wiki was beneficial to the students learning in that they were being introduced to web-education at an early age. They were all held responsible for doing their work and contributing to the class wiki with their observations regarding each topic.



I would categorize the learning as Velcro Learning. What the students are learning has meaning to them because they are a part of the learning process. The learner can connect what he or she is learning by conversing with other students or posting their thoughts and observations on the wiki. Therefore, the information “sticks” like Velcro.


Cindy Bode’s Go West! (JL 9/19/12)



The name of this wiki is Go West and is located at the following web address: http://gowest.wikispaces.com/

The class deserving credit for the creation of this wiki is a third grade class from Woodward Academy in College Park, Georgia. The subject area covered is early American history and the purpose was to study westward expansion along the Oregon Trail. In this wiki the teacher mainly plays the role of director and sometimes devil’s advocate. She gave the students some pre-required websites to search and information to gather but along with that she told them that much more research was required and that the research had to be from credible sources. She would also play devil’s advocate and sometimes ask questions causing the children to reevaluate some of their research and perhaps present it in a different manner or from a different source. The students in this wiki were the information gatherers, game creators, and even illustrators. They created the majority of the content. The framework for the content was well organized in my opinion. It was easy to follow along as it was created in a timeline fashion with all of the main points of interest placed into separate categories of their own. The content was quite diverse from timelines drawn by students with corresponding pictures from the internet, to interactive games like a word search and a crossword. They even added a few recipes from the era in case one wanted to know what the menu was like back then or possible even taste it for themselves. The students placed an internet link to each and every picture that was taken from the internet and had a multitude of hand drawn personal creations as well. They also added another set of internet links to a research section in the wiki. Each and every piece of information had a website link you could visit to check the validity of the information or even just learn more about it. One of the best features of this wiki was that the information is presented with equal amounts of written information and visual. It wasn’t boring! It was able to hold my attention from the beginning to the end and in some places give me just enough information to make me want to click a link to find out more. I really liked the fact that wiki was written by so many students and was still able to present the story in such an organized fashion.

I would definitely categorize what the students learned as “Velcro learning”(Jukes, McCain, & Crockett, p.53). The students wanted to participate in the project so badly that they had to schedule computer lab time. The excitement of working with the computers and knowing that their research would be an important part of the finished project made them eager and willing to learn. The Oregon Trail became “relevant” to them because of the way they learned about it (Jukes, McCain, & Crockett, p.52).
The students benefited in many ways from learning on the wiki. They gained valuable computer skills from using browsers, to checking the validity of websites, to uploading their own pictures and work. As their teacher put it the students also “gained confidence in their own ability”( http://gowest.wikispaces.com/reflections). If the students would have learned in a traditional setting and simply told to read the information in a textbook, I am quite sure their retention level would have been much lower. The wiki sparked discussions and even got the students to open up and ask more questions in their search for correct information to upload.


Hands on Homeschool (CK 9/22/12)
http://handsonhomeschool.wetpaint.com/
Created in Denver, Colorado for families with children of all ages.
A wide variety of subjects are covered.
The purpose of this wiki is to provide families in the Denver area who home school children with many resources for success.
The creator of this site has no defined role because others are encouraged to contribute their ideas.
Parents seem to be the “students” on this site being that they contribute information.
The creator of this page seems to be the one who contributes the most.
The content involves fun and educational activities, curriculum, class ideas, state laws, and much more.
There are links to different pages in the Denver area. These include both fun and educational materials.
While I was looking for more of a traditional classroom with a wiki page, this page grabbed my attention because of its great content. It’s one stop for educational fun and informative material.
I would consider this contributing to velcro learning. Children and their parents can see fun activities that are related to their current lessons. The experiences along with the classroom time help children to have the lessons “stick”. Children and parents can both access this information and comment on their likes and dislikes.
I think this page offers a quick and easy reference for material that can be gathered any day and any time. A non-technological format would be much slower. As the intro video for wiki pages shows, email can be messy as it brings numerous messages into an inbox that the reader has to sort through. This is one stop for quick results.


MR. BOYER’S 5TH GRADE CLASS (ZE 09/23/12)


The title of this page is “Mr. Boyer’s 5th Grade Class located at <<http://mrboyersclass.pbworks.com/w/page/19233611/FrontPage>>. Mr. Boyer teaches in Salina, Kansas. The wiki covers a variety of subjects from math and reading to science, social studies, and vocabulary/spelling. I would say that the purpose of this wiki is to give students the ability to collaborate with one another beyond the classroom as well as to give the students another set of diverse learning tools they can utilize online.

I believe the teacher’s role in this environment is to give fantastic links to students as well as facilitate and foster a few online discussion boards. Students are given the role, as in the classroom, as learners. Students should use all the available resources on this wiki to better understand the information presented in class as well as present homework online and have others discuss. The teacher has created most of the content, by far.

The website is organized by having flashy QuickTime animations in front, which leads to a few main links, and to the left and a navigation bar to the right. The navigation bar has every link that is contained in the wiki. There’s everything from spelling and vocabulary lists to parental resources (calendar and homework for kids) and a lot of additional links to games, podcasts, and photo albums.

The feature that stood out to me the most was the flashy animation on the front. However, that was a complete bust as it really was more for show than content. I don’t believe that Velcro Learning is very much applied (or used effectively). I don’t see how students would find many “a-ha moments” (stereotypical of Velcro learning – where knowledge and relevance combine to create interest and stick in the minds of students. There is not much relevance provided beyond games – then again, I don’t know what they have learned or are learning in the classroom.

I don’t believe there to be much benefit to students held in this website beyond a few cool-looking animations (to eleven-year-olds) and information for parents about homework due. Therefore, I find no benefit from this online community over traditional in-class learning.


Mrs.Koopman’s desbuffalo (DB 9/23/2012)

The name of the Wiki that I found is desbuffalo(http://desbuffalo.wikispaces.com/home). The teacher who created it is Beverly Koopman. Bevely teaches at Discovery Elementary in Buffalo, Minnesota. The grade level is 5th grade. This is a Wiki for students to post the books that they have read and have talks about their books. Students also write about the books that they have read. This is taking the standard reading journal to the next level. I really like this Wiki. I think that there is a huge benefit to this Wiki page. Students get to talk about books that they have read and write about them. Students at our school read A.R. books and then take tests about the books content. The students at the school I teach at never get a chance to discuss the books they are reading or get a chance to write about it. The teacher has the Wiki page set up, but the students through their book talks, writings, and answering her questions generate most of the content on the page. Mrs. Koopman also has Wiki links to social studies and math. After looking at the social studies and math it is very apparent that these are student driven pages. She presents a question and the students collaborate and create the answer/answers together. One feature that stood out to me besides the easy navigation is how well organized the Wiki is, the teacher has the page set up very well with book talks, message board, content and math links for students to go to. The Wiki is not cluttered or filled with useless information. I do believe that the Wiki is set up for a Velcro learning atmosphere. Mrs. Koopman does a great job applying knowledge and relevance. When you get to collaborate with others on books that you have read, the material will stick with you longer. I think that there is a great benefit for the students when using this Wiki. You could do this in class, but it would eat up valuable class time. I think that this Wiki really helps the students retain the information and frees up a ton of class time for Mrs. Koopman.

Mr. Bariexca’s British Romanticism (BN 9/23/12)

The title of this wiki is BritishRomanticism and the web address is http://britishromanticism.wikispaces.com/home. This wiki was created by Mr. Bariexca’s spring 2007 Honor Major British Writers class at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, New Jersey. The grade level ranges over grades 9-12 honors students. The subject being covered in this wiki is the Romantic period in Britain, the class covers three areas: visual art, music, and poetry. The purpose of the wiki is to showcase the research that the class has done on the Romantic period in Britain through posted analyses and articles.
The wiki looks like it was setup and given a backbone by the teacher, but it seems as though the information is provided by the students. The teacher did provide a reflection on what they got from the wiki, as well as allowing the students give their feedback on the project. Both the students and the teacher took part in online discussions. The teacher seems to be more of an overseer on the project while the students are providing the majority of the information. There are two discussions on the page in regard to two different films. There also is outlined information and examples on the three categories of art, music, and poetry from the time on the page. The feature I liked the most about this wiki was the reflection and feedback parts. I like these areas because it allowed you to see what the teacher and students thought/learned from this experience.
Velcro learning is when knowledge and significance merge to help the information that is being learned stick in the students’ minds. I think that this wiki would be categorized as Velcro Learning. The students had to work together to provide that information about the subject. Since the students said that the project was the most practical one they have done in high school and that they learned skills they will use in their future, which is proof that the information will stick with them for a while. The benefit of the lesson, as stated by the students, was that it made them more technology savvy and taught them how to work together to get the work done.


CyberClassroom Ck 9/25/12

http://cyberclassroom.wetpaint.com/

Location unknown. Grades 7 and 8 with subjects in Math, language, and other school activities

The purpose of this wiki for student to have a place to uploads their work and interests and for parents to know what their kids are working on.

The creator of this site seems to be the promoter for students to upload info and also uploads info, such as class activities.

Students are very important on this wiki. Not only for their contribution, but the creator also uploads student activities.

The creator seems to be the encourager but there seems to be pretty equal contribution.

The content involves fun and educational activities, curriculum, and class projects.

Students add links of their personal interests and those connected to projects.

I like that every student has a spot on the page to display their work and interests.

I would consider this contributing to velcro learning. Students are directly involved and can see what other students are working on and have interests in. I think the personal connections to this page help the info “stick”.

I think this page offers a quick and easy reference for material that can be gathered any day and any time. A non-technological format would be much slower. As the intro video for wiki pages shows, email can be messy as it brings numerous messages into an inbox that the reader has to sort through. This is one stop for quick results.

Podcasting in Education (NH 3/25/13)
http://podcasting-in-education.wikispaces.com/
https://mysdlax.lacrosseschools.org/groups/couleekids/blog
Coulee Kids
As I read this article I was exposed to what podcasting is about and learned about the different ways in which it can be used in the classroom. Podcasting allows you to listen to live audio or videos. You can also download them. While reading the article Podcasting in Education, I came across a 7th grade classroom at Coulee Middle School in La Crosse, Wisconsin who uses podcasting for Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science. The purpose for podcasting at Coulee Middle School is to allow students to show their creativity and critical thinking while collaborating, gaining proficiency in their use of technology, and building peer relationships.
Podcasting is used to showcase student work across the curriculum. Some examples of this are seen in language arts through poems and essays. In math, they can be creative with order of operation (P.E.M.D.A.S). In Science, they can demonstrate their reporting skills as they inform their peers of new diseases (origin, prevention and treatment). In social studies, they can participate in reader’s theater with historical events. What an amazing tool! The majority of these podcasts were created by 7th graders in various core classes. When you visit their wiki pages there are a range of topics in which students have podcasted.
These podcasts can be used by students as study tools for exams. Students can relate to the podcast because it is their own peers on the other side of their ear buds. In order to hear their podcast you must download iTunes. One feature that stood out to me is the amount of podcasts students have on their wiki blog pages. The podcasts vary in topics and subjects. I believe that podcasting has created a sense of relevancy in the lives of the students at Coulee. I consider that the knowledge students have acquired is “Velcro learning” because the more experience they obtain, the more proficient they become.

ArrrPirates (KD 3/23/13)

A fun wiki project site I visited was Arrrpirates located at: http://arrrpirates.wikispaces.com. It is unclear where Ms. Moffitt’s sixth grade class is from. She created this site to showcase the research and writing efforts of her class. The site has nine pages of various information any pirate aficionado would want to know. Ms. Moffitt included pages for the two project rubrics and an informational page on citing and finding sources for students to refer to. Other than that, all information on the subject of pirates was researched, written, and created on the web pages by the students themselves.

This wiki site was neatly laid out with a home page inviting the viewer to enjoy the work done by the students and a quick list of the nine different topics the students researched. Two students were paired up on each topic but each researched and wrote their pieces themselves. The higher order thinking skill of synthesis was expected as students were to research multiple items within their topic and boil that down to a paragraph or two of important information on that particular subject. The students were also responsible to list their sources and links to their sources in a bibliography page. On each topic page, the students added their written information along with a related picture, one below the next.

I loved that the teacher picked pirates and piracy as a theme. At first glance, this may seem like a topic that would be relatable to boys but there is a lot of world history tied to the topic of pirates. This topic could be brought into context of our time with a discussion included on piracy today. Jukes, McCain, and Crockett describe “Velcro Learning-- when knowledge and relevance combine to make learning stick in the minds of students” (Understanding the Digital Generation, 2010, pg. 53). Ms. Moffitt’s pirate unit is relevant to the interests of sixth graders. Combine that relevance with the knowledge component of how to research, how to cite, how to navigate and use a wiki page, how to write effectively, not to mention the history learned, and I would definitely count this in the Velcro Learning category. Add in the excitement of making a wiki page that will exist on the internet for all to see, and I believe that students will be more motivated to participate eagerly in this project versus doing this same project without the benefit of technology. May the students of Ms. Moffitt enjoy the bountiful booty of knowledge that must have come from such a fun subject.

TEENAGERS GUIDE TO EVERYWHERE (DY 3/31/13)
http://teenagersguidetoeverywhere.wikispaces.com/Home).

The wiki I choose is the Teenagers Guide to Everywhere in which the purpose is to provide information to other teenagers about a place they may be interested in visiting and what would be need for the visit. The wiki’s home page has a horizontal headliner of different categories and a pinned map of the United States. A visitor can choose a location to visit via multiple ways; on the map, using the homepage headliner, and/or using the master list link.

The wiki does not provide any information regarding the location of the class or the grade level. I do believe that it is an on-going process in which the teacher, Mr. Sheehy, has students add to each year. Mr. Sheehy plays the role of the administer. He maintains the sight, provides links for how to create a write-up, and provides a list of ideas that the students can choose from. A majority of the over 100 write-ups (content) are wrote by the students, yet a few are wrote by Mr. Sheehy. The write-ups have links to other websites for more information and links to where the students found the information.

I chose The Teenagers Guide to Everywhere because of the feature that a majority of the information is wrote by students about places and times of history that they are interested in. The students use Velcro Learning due to the fact that the information (knowledge) for the write-up is researched and wrote by the students about a location that they are interested in (relevance). The benefit of the students using a wiki for presenting their information as opposed to using a non-technological format is that the students use technology for research and present their information and the wiki can be accessed by others.