Category Archives: wiki

A success story of internet safety

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!


Mentoring, Day 1

I’m in Nevada right now mentoring teacher leaders with new project ideas with their students. One teacher wants her Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders to use an easy drawing program to create a retelling of story that they will put into a presentation. She was planning on using Microsoft Paint, but I showed her TuxPaint, an open-source drawing program for children. She loved the program, but one issue we ran into was getting the completed files onto the desktop (or another folder) so that we could import them into another program. Has anyone out there used TuxPaint before who could help us with this issue?

Another teacher is working with his 3rd-graders to create a wiki about the US States. He’s using PBWiki, (one of my favorites!) and his having each student take a state. He’s planning on using the comments feature of the wiki for his students give peer feedback and suggestions. He’s created a sample report on Nevada to serve as a guideline. Because he only has seven students, however, he’d like to extend this project to another teacher (or two) who would have their students create the pages for the missing states. Fun! His wiki is http://beattye.pbwiki.com and if there are any teachers or anyone who works with teachers out there, please reply if you think you know of a class who’d like to participate. I just found out today that PBWiki has updated their editor, so instead of learning all the “wiki-ese,” it’s a WYSIWYG interface. I had to really navigate to find it, though. To see the new editor, log into your wiki, then go to SETTINGS > EDITOR and switch from “Classic editor” to “New point-and-click editor.”

My last session of the day was with a teacher who will be using movie-making as a math assessment with 2nd – 8th graders. Together, we created a list of vocabulary terms the students have studied which they will need to include in their movie (decimal, percentage, fraction, mean, median, mode, range, estimation, bar graph, and circle graph). The students will be given bags of different colored candy and will have to create graphics using the candy to show that they know & understand the vocabulary & concepts. I can’t wait to see this project!

Fun day!