Saturday, March 20, 2010

Follow-up On Wiki / Pb works staff development 3/18/2010

It's always good to reflect on staff development sessions with teachers.  This past week, Teachers were trained by Thelma Anderson in PB-works. My goal was to try and portray PB works  ( ) as just one tool that teachers can utilize that allows students to work on projects that gives them more than an "audience of 1".  Wikispaces  ( ) is fine another fine platform for creating a WIKI.  PB works is just the platform that our WS/FCS recommends. 

There was a discussion about handling and managing student comments during our sessions. The following is a link to a lesson you might try with students before they start commenting on a blog or Wiki.  "Preventative measures" are the best way to prevent inappropriate comments

Another weopon in your aresonal is to remind students that they are "covered" under our district's acceptable use policy that stays in all students' guidance folders. You might show this to students and remind them what they must follow or face consequences.  So, if you decide to create a WIKi or blog, it would definitely be good to re-enforce the concepts of appropriate on-line behavior.  You might also try sending home the following WIKI warrantee  which you can edit to your own liking.

Another discussion that came up was how is a Wiki different than a google doc,  Couldn't you do some of these same things by simply sharing a google doc.  Well,  YES and NO.  You could set up docs for students to work collaboratively together like the one Cindy Neininger did with her Langauage Arts classes.  We created blank google documents and "shared" them and made them "edit-able" and placed the links on the student share drive. Then, Students working in groups of three with the laptop cart worked collaboratively on scripts.  It worked well.  Now, the limits are you can't upload other files like you can on a WIKI, and other student's pages are not easily viewable like they are in a WIKI. 

Another discussion was "Why can't we have a platform like Facebook for teachers?" to be able to interact with students? My Friend, Jennifer Lagarde highly recommends this educational version of Facebook:   She says her teachers love it.  I signed up for a generic tjmswsnc account with my "usual" password, if anyone at school wants to try it before signing up yourself...Another social networking site is linked below --It was also recommended by my very wise and knowledgeable Media person (Jennifer Lagarde) in Wilmington (and who said to just cut Media people!!?)   Here's another one called Grockit and an article about it:

Here are a couple of articles for an against the idea of opening up Facebook:

Here is a list of possible Social Media Sites that teachers might try when FACEBOOK is not an option:

Finally, Here is a link to the district's Wiki about WIKIS: orginal blog about this wiki Workshop:

And lastly, let's say you want to have multiple students edit the same document simultaneously, and any changes are instantly reflected on everyone's screen; you might try Etherpad. The result is a productive way to collaborate/brain-storm on text documents.  Here's a link.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, thanks for the useful tips as I get ready for a presentation to middle school teachers on Wikis. Another site that we use for educational social networking is It's part of Elluminates and it's free, of course!