BlogWalker

Muddling through the blogosphere

August 17, 2008
by blogwalker
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Wikis in K12 Education

Whether it be by voice, cell phone, email, iPod, blog, wiki, video, websites, or another as yet invented thing, I will communicate my message via any means that students will hear. I will not be afraid of the medium if it a highway to my students’ psyche. I will not erect roadblocks where I should build on ramps.”

I’m updating the wiki I use for my workshops to include some new resources such as Vicki Davis‘s slideshow presentation, which includes the above quote, and am thinking about some recent conversations with teachers who are fast becoming contributors to the blogosphere. Teachers from my local Writing Project, for instance, who are using their wikis to extend content resources beyond the school day. Take, for example, the fabulous Ms. Duenas, who has uploaded her entire set of PowerPoints to accompany her district’s 6th grade math program to her wiki. I suspect through Dee’s enthusiasm and commitment to sharing best practices, she’ll be bringing others at her site on board with Web 2.0 technologies.

I’d like to address two questions from teachers who have recently joined the blogosphere and have also added wikis to their toolkit.

The first question is about subscribing to a wiki. With wikispaces.com, readers will not see the RSS button or link, so how do they follow? Here’s the answer:

Step 1: From the sidebar, click on the Recent Changes link.

Step 2: From the Recent Changes screen, click on the Notify Me tab. Decide whether you want notification when anything has been changed or just changes to specific pages in the wiki.

Step 3: Choose your reader and that’s it.





The second question is from one of the most dedicated, outstanding teachers I have ever worked with, who happened to join me for my A3WP Summer Tech Institute. I’ve know this teacher for 16 years. Believe me, the list of students whose lives she has changed and the teachers she has mentored and supported (including me!!)is an incredibly long one! She left the workshop with a blog and a wiki ready to go. Her immediate goal was to provide a strong school-to-home connection and to open the world to her students (from a location where the deepest differences diversity-wise are economic). She called yesterday with this question: What do I tell my superintendent in a meeting I’ve requested to talk about why the tech guy has blocked access to Wikispaces.com?

I suggested maybe starting with Karl Fisch’s Did You Know? or Michael Wesch’s Information Revolution, plus the NCTE’s recent definition of 21st century literacies.

I’d like to keep adding to her list. What are your suggestions? How are you using wikis with your students and/or staff? What should I add to her list?

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