Learning Log- Wikis

15 Dec

Before investigating what a wiki could do for my classroom, I was sold. On blogs, that is. I liked blogs, thought commenting was brilliant, felt it was an effective way to collaborate and share one’s own thoughts with the world. And then I had to look up classroom wikis that were used for the content that I teach. Bah humbug. And then I found one Spanish teacher’s site and resources and videos and liked what I saw. I came across a wiki for Web 2.0 tools that I had and had not seen in this course thus far and felt enlightened. The last site not only posted Spanish class content, but basketball schedules, National Honors Society documents, and other school information too! Wow! Not only is this a great way to communicate with students and parents but there is a lot of professional sharing going on through class wikis and I just found out about it! Now, I couldn’t see everything. Some sites I didn’t have permission to see but this is one way that I know I can protect my students’ privacy from just anyone on the web. This collaborative site can be a great wealth of information for parents, students, other teachers, and for the school all in one place.

Sra. De Col’s Spanish wiki  includes many many helpful class documents. The first thing you will see is that her class uses an online textbook which has activities that even I could access! Woo hoo! Her syllabus is included which is very important for parents to be able to see at all times throughout the year. Sometimes students lose this, especially in middle school, and then parents would have to request an extra copy but its conveniently located on the wiki for easy access. I would like to post my syllabus on my class wiki. At the bottom of the home page are notes on many of the topics in Spanish 1. I can understand them easily because I know the content.  However, a parent may have a hard time understanding what the notes mean and might not be able to help their student if this was the only information posted. It might be a good idea to also post links explaining the content in the notes or under the link for the notes in case students are still having difficulty understanding. Homework is listed by date on the site and project descriptions are hyperlinked. This is very organized and accessible at anytime during the course. There are no surprises and students should be well prepared for any assignments coming up. There are Resources for students and teachers who are doing research or who need extra practice. Also, there is a section for What do I need to know in terms of copyright and fair use laws and policies?  I think this shows responsibility on the part of the teacher and that she is making sure they are understanding how to become responsible digital citizens. Other helpful/useful sections were : class exercises, class notes, videos teaching spanish concepts, grammar notes, 1 public discussion, student resources page, many links for students to practice Spanish, and podcasts!

Web 2.0 Cool Tools for Schools This site has organized all the Web 2.0 tools that we’ve been studying this semester plus more by category/function, lists the name of the tool, web address, and description for what its best for! Categories:  Presentation Tools, Collaborative Tools, Research Tools, Video Tools, Slideshow Tools, Audio Tools, Image Tools, Drawing Tools, Writing Tools, Music Tools, Organising Tools, Converting Tools, Mapping Tools, Quiz and Poll Tools, Graphing Tools, Creativity Tools, Widgets, File Storage & Web Pages, Other Helpful Sites, Creative Commons, and Teacher Resources! It also says that if you are a teacher using an effective tool not listed on the site, to contact them and they’ll add it to the list. They are keeping up to date, using the best of the best tools that teachers have found success with! This site was a bit overwhelming because I didn’t know yet what exactly I was looking for. Once teaching have been introduced to wikis or other web 2.0 tool and know what they are looking for or what they want students to create, this wiki would be great because the resources are great in number and even specify what’s free and what isn’t . Tutorials are even offered on some sites!

DHSESPANOL is a high school Spanish wiki that has tons of resources for this teacher’s Spanish 1-4 classes. Voki is also featured here which is something I have not seen on many wikis. It is speaking avatars that can be shared anywhere on the web. It can look like an animal or person, its lips move, and you can record your voice to have it talk to whoever visits your site. It’s pretty neat and is good for giving instructions or just welcoming someone to the site. Since I teach Spanish I, I closely read over this page of the wiki scanning for similar topics and/or projects that I do with my students. If I found a similar project, it would be neat to do presentations to her class and to mine or to even pair students up from different classrooms to work on one project on the wiki. Student presentations on their personal heroes were at the top of the Spanish I page and I thought this was an interesting getting to know you idea for the beginning of the year. There aren’t a ton of topics but the games and practice sites for the topics posted are fun! There’s battleship and hangman and jeopardy! Fun games loaded with content to get students competetive and focused! I like these links. In the teachers section, she also has the link to create your own games so other teachers can post their own vocabulary lists. Under projects, the teachers has posted instructions for students on how to embed videos within their glogsters and publish their videos to schooltube.com for other schools to have access to them. These instructions are useful to me because I’m not even sure sometimes how to embed, hyperlink, etc., although I’m getting better at it. These step by step instructions are important to have on the wiki in case the site is hard to understand.

So many extras were included on these wikis that I hadn’t thought of before. I learned a lot from when we posted our screencasts and all typed on the same page but I had not thought of posting syllabi, school updates, class notes, and their projects all in one place! Very useful and informative!

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  1. Learning Log- Wikis « Things I grab, motley collection - December 31, 2011

    […] thought commenting was brilliant, felt it was an effective way to collaborate and share one…Via senoritabling.wordpress.com LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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