Classroom examples of wikis used to enhance learning:

(Please scroll down and post your assignment after the last entry on the page. Do not type your assignment directly into this wiki. Since the wiki is a collaborative website, if two or more users are in Edit mode at the same time the Save process may overwrite another’s work. By using copy/paste to enter information on the wiki it minimizes the time spent in Edit mode and thus the chance of overwrites. Thank you for being considerate.)
Choose Your Own Adventure (JD 4/8/14)

This particular Wiki I found was called Terry The Tennis Ball: A Choose Your Own Adventure Wiki at http://terrythetennisball.wikispaces.com/home. This wiki was designed by 3/4 grade students of Middle P at a school in Geelong Victoria in 2006. The subject it was covering was writing for the purpose of creating a choose your own adventure story. It looks like the teacher’s role was to provide the framework for the story and the student’s role was to collaborate and come up with ideas on how Terry the Tennis Ball could end up. I would say that the students created most of the content on this page. I would say the teacher built 35% as he created the story. Then it looks like he provided the story for the students to fill out. The students did rest of the work as they gave suggestions on how Terry The Tennis Ball’s life would end up. The kids could then write and actually link another story to another one! What a great way to collaborate and explain how by just changing one thing in the story you can have a million stories off of one tennis ball.

I personally feel that the framework/organization for this particular wiki was definitely student friendly. It was not the most appealing to look at but I think that would lead away from a lot of distractions for students to focus on the main project. With the framework that the teacher provided you can tell the students felt safe enough to share their thoughts. As a teacher, there was some spelling mistakes, which also shows students were doing it. However, I would have my students go back and revise their story that they are posting. I would also turn it into a technology lesson in which I would have my students keep the same font so that it is consistent throughout the whole web page. I think it would of also been interesting if students then wrote their own story and posted it in a discussion and had students respond each other’s stories. However, the teacher did a great job organizing it to tell a choose your own adventure story so it would make sense no matter which way they wrote it. It would be easy to follow the story and even write it or type it for a paper because it goes in chronicle order. One thing I would add is from this website, http://desbuffalo.wikispaces.com/home. Right when you open the website it provides a framework of what she expects her class to do when using the wiki. I think this is so important, especially if parents are going to be seeing what their child is doing, the expectations and rules are right there for everyone to see. Also she has more links for her students, which I think, is a great idea because everything is connected in one area.

The content the wiki was trying to cover was a choose your own adventure book about Terry The Tennis Ball. In this story Terry finally was free from his container but all of a sudden he started bouncing and was not in control so we rolled into, was picked up, down a hill, got hit in a golf hole, rolled down the road, bumped into, hit by, rolled by, flow in the air and hit, stopped at a, sat their on a, bounced to a, popped in (everything italicized is where the students could click and put input to the story).

The best feature that stood out to me was how easy it was for student to add to the page. This is my first time interacting with a wiki and I understood what the teacher’s objective was as well as the student’s goal. As a reviewer of this wiki I really liked how user friendly it was. I am actually going to do this with my own students about a story because we are teaching opinion this month and I needed an idea! I will be copying this, making a different story, by showing my kindergarten students how a story can change just like that and how we can all have our own opinion about stories.

I would categorize this as Velcro Learning because it is, “knowledge and relevance combined to make learning stick in the minds of students” (Jukes, McCain, Crockett, p. 17). By being involved in the digital world and doing even a simple choose your own adventure book that is interactive and online I feel I saw “both come together to create what we call Velcro Learning- when knowledge and relevance combine to make learning stick in the minds of students” (p. 17). Technology is relevant to students, it is interesting and they want to dive in. So as an educator, it is important to recognize that and make it a daily use in your classroom so students can collaborate, learn, teach, and create.

In conclusion, I see a great benefit for the students learning the lesson on a wiki as opposed to a non-technological format for many reasons. My first reason, is it provides a save environment in which students who are shy or not confident to share their thoughts and ideas and be collaborative and contribute to classroom projects in a more engaging way. My second reason is children love technology. The wiki always kids to put their input and feel they are contributors, teachers, collaborating, sharing, and critiquing. Lastly, I think we are showing our students that we recognize their technology capabilities and we are willing to work with them to create a fun, collaborative, and safe classroom.






Code Blue (M.C.11/7/12)
The name of the wiki is Code Blue www.codeblue.wikispaces.com The site was created by Kim Cofino. This was a sixth grade Science class from Mont'Kiara International School, in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia. This was introduced to the students in order to help them learn how to use technology in the classroom. The students learning about the human body systems opened their own online medical clinic.
It was evident in this wiki that the role of the teacher was minimal. The students provide almost all of the content. I believe the teacher first provided the students with the initial websites to research their topic on the human body systems in order to get started. From there the students researched the information and developed their clinics. Working collaboratively with students across classroom sections, they posted their information on the wiki. I believe it was the teacher who divided the students into groups. There were three main groups and each student in the group was a doctor who specialized in certain areas. Each doctor (student) gave a brief biography about him/herself. Then added the information that he/she had researched about the human body. Other students in their group were able to edit and add information and provide feedback about assignment. The students collaborated with the other "doctors" in their clinic and also with the other "doctors" in their specialty (such as, cardiology). The teacher assigned a fictitious patient to each clinic which they had to diagnose and provide treatment information.
The content had many links to other websites to provide much more information on the body systems. This wiki was basically created and edited by the students with teacher guidance. This was a very interactive project with other students in different classroom sections.The students collaborated with each other by updating the pages and by participating in discussions.I truly believe the students learned a lot from doing this project. A lot of research took place that was done mainly by the students. They posted comic strips and pictures from the internet. The feature that stood out to me was the discussion part. This was evidence of student collaboration without a lot of teacher input. The online medical clinic was developed in big part by the students themselves.
I believe much more learning took place on the wiki as opposed to a non-technological format because the students were able to work together across classrooms at any time. They didn't have to worry about setting up times to meet so the work would get done. They were able to edit and add on their own time. Many times when working on a group project children have to make arrangements to get together to finish their project or to make final revisions etc. I believe a lot more collaboration took place working on a wiki. I really enjoyed the discussions that took place. It showed a lot of hard work and dedication the students.

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.



2nd Grade Wiki (TS 7/7/2013)
Mrs. Ibrahim’s class wiki can be found at https://mrsibrahim.wikispaces.com/
Grade level: 2nd grade Subjects: All

Mrs. Ibrahim describes her wiki as a place for her and her second grade students to share what they have learned with the world. They are located in Southern California.

Overall, this wiki looks like much of the content was created and overseen by the teacher, with students contributing to specific assignments. However, students were able to add their own pieces of work for display, and utilize the site as a resource. There were links to images, surveys, videos, assignments, projects and more. Each student also has their own individual page for display of their own work.

The wiki is organized by subject area, and then has links organized alphabetically. Many of the links look like they are added as references for students to use, but they also include what appears to be student made visual aides, student work examples, and collaborative classroom pieces.
I do believe that this wiki demonstrates Velcro Learning, “when knowledge and relevance combine to make learning stick in the minds of students”. (Jukes, McCain, & Crockett) Students are allowed to access numerous resources, in various forms, and collaborate together to make the learning more meaningful and relevant.

I believe this wiki enhances the learning taking place in the classroom. Students have access to resources, to working together and taking pride an ownership in their own work. This is done much more effectively with the wiki page than could be done in other forms of instruction.



Gifted Kid’s Network (PS 07/07/13)

The name of this Wiki is the Gifted Kid’s Network (https://talentedandgifted.wikispaces.com/home). This Wiki exemplifies the work of students grades 3 – 8 that attend the gifted kids network for distance external image arrow-10x10.png. This network seems to have no central location, or no location is shown on their Wiki. I investigated the schools website too, but no location for this school was ashon. Taking this into account I can still see student work/portfolios and links added to the site. The purpose of this wiki is to organize information for the online school so students can easily access other links on the internet. In addition, there are student blogs, student project links and student portfolio links that show quite a bit of student content. The majority of the information linked from the left side of the Wiki page is student projects and portfolios. It seems like this site has been set up by a teacher, but students also use it to upload projects that they have created. One specific project is the virtual zoo where students created a zoo with the aid of CAD (Computer Assisted Design) programming or similar programs. Students have also uploaded other blogs and assignments under each one of the technology links.

Overall, the organization of this site is very simple and it seems like this site has either been abandoned, or it is just getting off the ground. The site is very easy to navigate and the links on the left hand side of the screen are very orderly and are linked to other places within the Wiki. I believe there is an attempt at “velcro learning” (Jukes, McCain, & Crockett, p.53) by integrating technology and science together to create an imaginary zoo. It is a bit hard to tell if all of the assignments are “sticking” with the kids, only because the outcomes of the different assignments all seem very similar. If the students are creating online videos for every assignment I’m sure they will become disengaged at some point.

I think that this could be a great site if the links all worked and there were some type of content on each link. This class started putting together links of wikis that students had created but there were only a few. I think with time this site could be awesome and a great resource for the organization that created it. The benefit of the Wiki for students is the ability to upload their projects to one common spot so all students in class can share/publish their information. This would be hard to do without an online resource for someone to go to check out the videos and projects.

Student Wiki Portfolio's (CP 7/7/2013)

Name of the wiki is JustinFGerneralife and Justinforn there are URL's are:
JustinFGeneralife: http://justinfgenerallife.wikispaces.com/
JustinForn: http://justinforan.wikispaces.com/

Grade level is high school all subjects however they were created for an assistive tech class. The purpose of the wiki was to be an ongoing portfolio of what they had learned and during the assistive tech class was well as what they had learned in other classes. The students had to make Jing videos describing what they did so that they could relearn the information at a latter time if they had forgotten and want to use on of the programs they had been playing with. The content is completely created by the student for the students needs. The assignment was to collect and document different programs and websites they had come across and create a jing video so they wouldn't forget if they decided at a later time they needed the program. These wiki were examples of A projects as the student made several Jing video on each program detailing everything he knew about them in case he forgot anything. The one is well organized with regards to his semester accomplishments and IEP goals however he deleted all of content with regards to his IEP accomplishments once he graduated. Which is good as I wouldn't and picked it if he hadn't. At one time the wiki's were linked but I can't find the link at this time. The content of the one wiki is about the student and the other wiki is about programs and accomplishments. The best feature is the jing videos so that the student can relearn anything they have forgot at a latter time. It is external image arrow-10x10.png velcro learning in that as long as the internet is around he will be able to relearn what he is teaching himself. I see the benefit of WIki's only if the wiki is completely owned and controlled by the student to meet his own needs. PLEASE DON"T LISTEN TO THE SMARTPEN NOTES!

Larry King (J.W. 3/4/14)

The name of this wiki is Larry King’s Murder: Tragedy in the 8th Grade http://larryking.wikispaces.com/home created by Richard Geib for a high school class at Foothill Technology High School in Ventura, CA. Mr. Geib describes his wiki as a look into the sad murder of an 8th grade student by the name of Larry King, a student at E.O. Green Junior High, and where blame for the murder may be.

This wiki is an example of teacher lead, student dominated interaction. Larry King allows students to take a look at the bullying and eventual killing of an 8th grade gay student, Larry King by a classmate Brandon McInnery. It examines the roles of King, McInnery and the E.O. Green School Administration and asks students as to where they would administer the blame. The main content has clearly been developed by Mr. Geib, as he has provided a Newsweek article about the killing, as well as two power point presentations and two videos as background into the case. Within two of these artifacts Mr. Geib draws parallels between this case and that of Matthew Shepherd, whose famous case broke in the 90s in Laramie, WY. The rest of the content has been created by Mr. Geib’s students, who combined have created over 40 audio records with assess blame either on Larry, Brandon or the Administration. Overall, it is very clear that this wiki is a collaborative effort between teacher and students.

Even though this wiki would be considered very bland visually, its set up is simple and extremely straight forward. Its organization is easy to follow and all links are currently functional. What stood out to me most was the student added audio. Each student/audio was clear in their assessment and gave evidence based examples to state their cases. There is a clear sense of involved and developed thinking which went into the wiki page.

Larry King’s Murder wiki is a clear example of what would be considered “Velcro Learning”, which in other words means it shows clear signs of instruction which is combined with relevance. Larry King’s case is sadly too common in this day and age, as bullying has become a real issue inside of American Schools. This wiki brings students close to home by address a situation which could, can and has happen at countless school throughout the nation. The wiki allows them to process and internalize the situations surrounding Larry King’s death and make a personal decision where to assess blame.

I definitely believe wiki’s like this would be beneficial to students. Students are allowed to freely assess the information without having to adhere to a linear fashion. It allows them to weigh information as either a whole or it parts to makes personal decisions in relation to their education. Moreover wiki’s such as this promotes collaboration amongst students to gain their own clear understand of the content.

Teaching Tom Sawyer (BW 3/8/14)
The wiki I chose to critique was called The Tom Sawyer page of Forest Park Middle School in Forest Park, Illinois. It can be found here: http://fpms7up.wikispaces.com/. This wiki was designed by a 7th grade teacher (Mrs. Belden) as a tool for teaching a class novel. It appears that the role of the teacher was to upload information by chapter with links to interesting and supplemental reading materials. The students appeared to be placed in groups and would respond to assignment materials as well as discussion questions.
This wiki is clearly teacher led, but highly interactive for students as well. I appreciate that on the home page students or parents can clearly see the expectations laid out and there is a link to the Tom Sawyer text. Mrs. Belden places links to each chapter and also includes chapter questions with links that require students to do additional research in order to external image arrow-10x10.png the assignment successfully. For example, http://fpms7up.wikispaces.com/Chapter+15 takes students to the chapter 15 discussion with additional resources. As a middle school teacher, I see value in providing students with the resources for additional learning. Middle school students do not have the capabilities of finding appropriate materials to supplement their learning. Even though Mrs. Belden is clearly the leader behind these activities she is expecting higher level/critical thinking be involved in their discussion responses. Additionally, she uses modern day resources to make connections between life today and life in Tom Sawyer’s time. The one downside is that she does not appear to utilize this for every chapter in which case it turns into a semi-redundant discussion board (the last chapters of the book). While Mrs. Belden is the organization behind the wiki it is clear that this requires collaboration on the parts of the students in order to carry out assignments and move the students through the book.
While this wiki is not visually stimulating in any way, it’s simple and straightforward and explicitly states directions and expectations, which is important when working with middle school aged students. Students appeared to be comfortable responding to questions in a way consistent with this age group. As is always the case, some students struggled with depth and reason for their opinions, however others used the additional resources to assist in their responses.
I think this wiki qualifies as an example of “Velcro learning” mainly because the teacher used outside resources to create a sense of modern day in a classic and historical novel. This means that students were consistently challenged to see the connections between two time periods therefore creating relevance. There are themes and lessons in Tom Sawyer that are still applicable to life today and helping students see those relationships creates meaning and forces students to similarities in their own lives. Lessons like these challenge students to see beyond the words on the page.
Finally, I think wikis like this are a great teaching tool. It allows students opportunities to showcase their thinking. Too often student work only is viewed by the teacher and maybe one other individual. I think students have grown accustomed to the non-technological ways of learning a novel. This way involves excellent practice for students to see their level of thinking juxtaposed with a peer. Also students should feel more ownership and pride in their work. When they realize many people will be viewing it they tend to be more intentional with their thinking. Plus technology is the direction this world is taking and students should probably start utilizing and understanding tools like this as the soon to be norm.


Elementary School Class Wiki (CL 3/9/14)
2nd Grade Class Wiki - http://mrsibrahim.wikispaces.com/home
Southern California Elementary School
I chose this particular Wiki to discuss because I think there are many things that I could critique, based on what I have learned about Wiki. To me, it is supposed to be a collaborative effort between students and teacher. A teacher puts together the Wiki and supplies assignments and activities that the students can do on the Wiki. This particular Wiki was put together by the teacher. The teacher has added a lot of student work examples and pictures of what is taking place in the classroom. There are some areas where the student worked on adding their own thoughts or concepts. For example, under the writing heading you can click on various concepts being taught and see student examples. However, I don’t think this is used as a way of “teaching”. This particular class Wiki is for students to show their work that has been done, not necessarily use it as a learning tool. There are links to every subject, photos of Thinking Maps being used in the classroom, and things that they are working on. If you click on the Pages and Files tab, you can find more work that students have done. For example there is a personal narrative written by one of the students. However, this is just one piece of work by one student. I envision a Wiki to be a collaborative assignment among all learners in the class. I do not think that this shows a form of Velcro Thinking, as this idea means only learning that sticks and something students can connect with. I think this class Wiki is simply a compellation of work done by students in the class. One part that stood out to me was the area of Thinking Maps. This is a big push in my school currently and it was nice to see some examples of what is being used in other elementary schools in the nation. Now, I think to make this a collaborative effort, the students could work on building these Thinking Maps together on the Wiki. They can take something that they have been discussing in class, choose the appropriate Thinking Map, and create it together with each student adding a different component to the Thinking Map. I think this is a good class site to show work that is taking place, but I feel it lacks the collaborative component. It has some collaboration, but that is not at the forefront of the Wiki. I’m not sure that these students are benefiting from this Wiki, as they are doing the work in class and showing it on the Wiki. Again, more collaborative assignments that can be done using the Wiki would be more beneficial for the students.