Blogs and Wikis for a Collaborative Classroom at TCEA

Presenter Jamie Gustin Elementary Technology Coach at Magnolia ISD

Co-presenter Chris Turik employed by November Learning

Most of the November Learning employees use skype -rarely physically in an office -said this is growing as a busness model

Magnolia blogging district-wide, infused into the learning environment

Wiki-how – how to manuals anyone can write and edit good example of use of a wiki

Their experience – teachers usually begin blog as upcoming events and homework, slowly evolve into two-way conversations with commenting

Started blogs in conjunction with teacher webpage, starts static phases in to collaborative (about 600 at Magnolia blogging)

Some teachers working on theme unit about mysteries

Mr. Gustin was going on a one day vacation with his family and using the blog students had to figure out where he was going. He started out with a clue and the students had to use the commenting section to ask questions that would “trick” him into giving more clues. He used his cell phone camera to leave photo clues on Flickr that would appear on the blog via rss feed

Use of cell phone one example of connectivity without a computer

two thirds of the comments were outside of school hours – one was at seven a.m. Stutdents were reading everyone elses comments trying to solve the mystery

He was able to moderate the comments quickly so if someone figured out the answer too quick the answer could remain hidden to give more time for others to solve

resources skype (one example of VOIP)

CILC distance learning message board – can post on looking for a class to collaborate with on a specific subject

ePals another collaborative resource

Fourth grade classes using a wiki to collaborate on a chapter book – one class writes a chapter – another class writes the next chapter and so on


Classes set up a wiki on the solar system – using information on different planets students try to create life forms that would be able to survive in the environment (discovered only one student can have a wiki open at a time on moodle)

challenge – teachers has to think about all the processes the student will need to complete the tasks

storyboard helpful

be prepared to edit as they go along

a third grader spotted a factual mistake on a website (chance to talk about validating information)

teach “polite” editing

using the moodle wiki taught the students the mechanics of a wiki before they used wikipedia

community building, collaboration

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