I am just learning wikispaces this year in my computer lab. I successfully created wikispaces for each grade-level team, for each grade level student spaces, one for book reviews, and a few others for special area plans. Wikispaces was great about questions and entering twelve classes of username/passwords for me. With so many students, Excel came in handy for name + automatic number combination. I then copy/pasted the lists to send.

Project logistics-
With six classes in each grade level (I'll begin with 4th-5th) I will group students by their number in class to partner/group wikispaces. Also - I'm hoping it's great for distance collaborations too. Kind of like in here - there is something new each time I check in this site... well at least in my mind that is how they will see it. I have read accounts that students get upset over ownership - but that is part of teamwork in "regular" class too. More life lessons.

With daily contact with teachers at my school and online, we have many topics/standards-based projects in mind - it will all depend on what they are doing when we actually begin. I am planning for 4th graders to be ready for On the Trail of the First PeopleURL: http://eev.liu.edu/KK/na/index.htm with Karen.


Safety-
Wikispaces is safe because school account options can be set to members/invitaion only and I have requested that students share their username/password with parents only - this way parents who have reservations feel safer too.
I'm talking/emailing/blogging/newsletter(ing) home about it before we begin so I can field questions/concerns. I have had good discussions with parents which helps me add to my information I send.
Reading AUP's in CR20 has also been very helpful.

The blocking problem-
The past two months I have made numerous requests of our tech department to unblock sites I need/want such as wikispaces, blogger, podomatic..... Each request listed multiple ways I plan to use the site such as integrating technology and other curriculum, staff development, team collaboration/communicaton, and/or teacher/parent communication. So far, so good.

I've been teaching 20++ years, and in this is my 4th year in this position. I still want to ask:
What other organizational - or other - advice is there out there?

Tags: aup, collaborative, elementary, inter-classroom, socialstudies, wikis

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Perhaps you already know this, but one thing that arose when I used Wikispaces with my third grade students last year was the Wikispaces emails. Each wikispace account you create grants that user email within wikispaces. Unfortunately, you have no administrative options regarding these mail accounts. Once my students discovered the email it became a very popular thing to use, in class and out. I only caught one inappropriate use (foul language.) It's not a deal breaker, but it is still something to be aware of and prepared for.
Hmm
I have used Wikispaces with my sixth graders but have not run into the email situation.
I will have to doublecheck my site, I guess.
Thanks
Kevin
Yes, I would be aware of the problem. Typically, what happened is that there would be an explosion of 'silly' email, and then the novelty wore off. I suspect that this is because all of my 6th graders have normal (and far more useful) email accounts that they use instead. However, you can also use the email to your advantage by making it clear that you will answer any email sent to you with a serious question. If your school does not have its own email accounts, it can be hard to figure out whether email from 'easydragon589' is spam or a student. Within the confines of a private wiki, hopefully that question never arises.
When I was first investigating wikis, this messaging feature of wikispaces made me very uncomfortable. Not only because of students messaging each other, but also because of the possibility of students interacting with those outside of the school.

In my opinion, PBwiki.com has created the most secure environment for wiki use within a school. The teacher signs up for a free education account and then creates the class roster from the settings page (this is similar to how it works in Wikispaces). However, PBwiki does not use any messaging systems between users and the usernames created are tied directly to your class wiki alone. This means that the students cannot use these usernames to log in to the main PBwiki site (or join other wikis). The students must go to the URL of their specific class wiki to log in. Just like in Wikispaces, you can also choose to make your wiki private to increase security even further.
I've done 4 wikis, but we use them for research collaboration only (like wikipedia). How does it work when different users all try to save the same space at the same time? If each user doesn't have their own page then there will be "recovered" spaces all over the place. Just a thought. N
In the 20 June 2007 update, wikispaces claimed that
Merging concurrent edits now takes place when there is a clean merge. This means there will be less concurrent edit warnings while multiple people are editing the same page, and there will be less of a chance of overwriting another person's changes with your own.

I haven't had the opportunity to test this yet.
Last week I was using wikispaces with my class and was hopeful that this "merging" of edits would happen. It didn't. Whoever hit save last, ended up overwriting anything that any other of the students working on that page were typing (there were 2 others). It was very frustrating. How have others handled this in a class? Do you create 30 separate pages to be edited, then rotate the kids through them so that only one person at a time is editing each page? Or is there another approach?
Dear Michelle,

This is my question too. I do hope someone from Wikispaces sees this and answers your query as I'm curious to know too. This situation has plagued me too.
Yes, I create separate pages for each student and then I "tie" them all together on a single page. Some examples that are currently pages that my students are editing:
http://stmcomputers.wikispaces.com/TimeZoneExperiences
http://stm8thsocialstudies.wikispaces.com/Presidents

Alternatively if they have to edit the same page, I have a stuffed animal that gets passed around. Whoever has that on their monitor can edit the page.
Oops, it's hard to tell but each time on the Time Zone Experiences page is actually a different page on the wiki - if you click on the time link you'll see that. On the Presidents one, each president is a different page.
I switched over to www.pbwiki.com for some of these reasons. pbwiki locks concurrent users out, but users have the option of "stealing the lock" on a page that is being edited by another student. This will at least give a warning to a student that it is being edited by another member.
You see if someone is editing the same page on wikispaces when you go in. I tell my students that if they edit and get a message that it's already being edited that they cancel out of the edit.

In reality, I don't run into it much because each student edits their own page most of the time or I have a stuffed animal that gets passed around and whoever has that is the only one that can edit.

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