About a year ago, I worked with a teacher in Nevada to help him create a wiki for his 3rd grade students in which they would collaborate on state reports. I’ve kept tabs on the wiki and watched it grow tremendously.
A couple of days ago, I left a comment on the “Georgia” page, offering the student my Flickr pictures from my travels in Savannah, St. Simons, and Athens. I received the following email from the teacher today:
“Let me tell you a story: I wasn’t at school on Tuesday, so I didn’t have a chance to tell my students about the email I received from you on Monday. When I got home Tuesday evening and found your email that said that you had commented on the Georgia site, I decided to check it out. There was no comment at all. I thought that was strange, so I checked my bloglines account, which is the way I do a quick check on what the students have been doing on their reports. I found your comment and printed it off to bring to class today. This morning I talked to the class and found that the students had checked their comments yesterday, and when they found things from people they didn’t know they just deleted them. I explained who you were and showed them a copy of “Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works” including the group picture at the back of the book. The class felt bad about it, and I gave the student who was working on Georgia a copy of your comment. While I thought it was kind of humorous, I was really impressed that they did delete the content, since it goes along with beware of strangers.”
I am SO proud of these students (and their teacher) for acting wisely given the situation. Now that they know who I am, I plan to go back and add a few comments to their wiki, but I love that there are these success stories out there to counterbalance some of the horror stories that get such attention.
Kudos to Gary & his class!