Learning Log – Wikis

There are a lot of wiki spaces on the web that are created, used, and maintained by educators.  They are a good forum to create collaborative class projects, share information with other educators, and use for professional development.  I was not looking for a particular theme when I searched for education themed wiki spaces. I just looked for wiki spaces that I found interesting.  After combing through many wiki spaces, I narrowed it down to five that I found interesting, useful, or just plain awesome.

The Digital Citizenship WIKI

As the title implies, this wikis space is all about digital citizenship.  It stresses four components of digital citizenship, literacy, safety, learning strategies, and etiquette.  The side menu has links to every grade from first through twelfth.  When you click on a grade level it takes you to a page with age appropriate games, videos, and information sources.  This is a great tool for any educator K-12.  Digital citizenship is something that must be addressed with all 21st century students, and this wiki has an abundance of resources.  It uses games, videos, and humor which are much more appealing to most students than a teacher trying to explain the topic. 

Greetings From The World – GFTW

At first glance this wiki space does not appear to be much, but upon further exploration it is a great place.  It is a network of about thirty teachers, representing every continent except Antarctica.  Each teacher’s class has created several glogs, videos, and photos to teach the world about the area they are from.  This would be a great resource for a social studies teacher to use to find out about major landmarks and cities, as well as the culture of areas around the world.  This site is also looking for more teachers to join the network, so you could use this tool to teach students digital citizenship.  It is also a great way to show students that the internet allows you to connect with people around the globe.

UDL Tech Tool Kit

We have recently been introduced to the Universal Design for Learning, and this wiki space is a great resource to use when trying to implement the principles of UDL in your lessons.  The wiki has “tool kits” for just about every discipline, and the tools, or links, are separated according to student needs.  This wiki has a lot of information if you are looking for ideas about how to create instruction that addresses multiple learning styles and intelligences.

Web 2.0: Cool Tools for Schools

This wiki has an extensive list of Web 2.0 tool that can be used in the classroom.  The tools are separated into categories like presentation tools, collaborative tools, drawing tools, etc.  A short description accompanies each web tool.  There is also a section of resources for teachers that have tools for assessing, professional development, and more.  There are an extensive number of web tools available on this wiki that are neatly organized, and easily accessible.  This is definitely a wiki that I will bookmark, and look into joining.

Terry the Tennis Ball

This is a unique wiki space that I will never use, but the idea behind it was so interesting that I had to explore it.  This is a collaborative storytelling wiki, where the teacher started with the line, “Soon Terry was bouncing, bouncing, bouncing before he”, and the students took it from there.  Creating many separate stories about the adventures of this tennis ball.  What I found interesting was this was done by third and fourth graders, and it was started as an experiment by the teacher.  The teacher wanted to see if the students would be interested in using a wiki as a shared storytelling space.  The teacher found that most students enjoyed participating in this activity and did the work on their own time, at home, and for no credit.  This is the type of social media experience we need to be engaging students in. 

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