Jan 22, 2013

Become a Wiki Master

A wiki is a quick and simple way of creating a web site (wiki is Hawaiian for fast or quick). Wikis are often collaborative efforts, developed and maintained by a community of authors. Great examples of community written and curated wikis are Wikipedia, Lostpedia, Minecraft Wiki, and NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K12 Edition Wiki.

The primary GTSD school wikis (GES and SMS) are curated by teachers and staff. We use Wikispaces as our wiki provider, as they provide a reliable and easy to use web space at no cost to K-12 teachers.

The GTSD school wikis have standard templates meant to provide a consistent starting point for research, exploration, and digital creativity at both school and home. Class and grade level pages have the potential to be the front page of the internet for your students, providing access to timely resources, class forms, and important dates.

GTSD school wikis are protected, meaning only wiki members can edit or make changes. Only GTSD faculty and staff have been granted wiki membership. Teachers looking for a more conversational or collaborative web space may want to consider developing their own wiki or a tool like Edmodo.


TIPS FOR TEACHERS
  • If you don't promote it, students won't use it. If students don't use the resources available through school, they will go to Wikipedia, Google, Ask.com, or other less than academically appropriate sites.  Direct them to the Digital Resources (SMS) or Research (GES) page, a subset of that page, or include a list of quality, reliable and on-topic resources on your class page.  
  • Keep content fresh. Remove or archive dated material. Update material on regular basis to keep students aware of what is happening in class.
  • Organize your content. Format topic headings and use table of contents widget. Use the hide text code to share detailed information (see Expectations and Standards sections on the 8th grade media lit page).
  • Follow web conventions.  For a more polished and professional look avoid visible urls  (web addresses).  Type the text first (what will be visible to students), then highlight that text and click "Add Link". For younger grades it may be more appropriate to use images as links.
  • Give your students the best of the web. Embed images, videos, and other media files that will support learning. Link to great resources created by others, or upload content you have a created.  Create and embed a Google calendar to keep students up to date on important projects and assignments.
  • Practice what you teach. Check your spelling and grammar. Cite your sources for text, images, and media.
  • Expand beyond the class wiki page. Need more space? Want a more customized look? Consider creating your own wiki, blog, or web site for your class. Share the url for your site with Mrs. Bond so your class page can be included in the main directory. Be sure to link back to the "main" wiki to help students stay connected to the school's resources.


WIKISPACES TUTORIALS: Listed below are video or text based tutorials to walk you through the steps of adding content to your wiki page. GTSD staff are encouraged to contact Mrs. Bond regarding additional topics. She will either meet with you or create a video tutorial.


CONTENT IDEAS: Below are just a few of the many resources sharing the latest and greatest web tools and resources for use in schools.
  • Wikispaces Featured Wikis: Collection of wikis selected by Wikispaces to be noteworthy.
  • Cool Tools for Schools: Wiki filled with interactive web tools. If planning student use, pay attention to terms of service for each tool, specifically those relating to student age.
  • Free Technology for Teachers: Content rich blog highlighting new and interesting tools for use in schools; vast majority of tools are free.
  • Technology Tools for Teaching & Learning: Connect your goals with web based tools. If planning student use, pay attention to terms of service for each tool, specifically those relating to student age.