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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Hello JoNelle,

I recently learned about wikis in my technology course I am taking this semester. However, the term still seems foreign to me. Are wikispaces the same as a wiki? From your response you seem to have a handle on it. As a beginner, I want to learn about this social networking tool so that I can perhaps incorporate it into my class when I begin teaching. Any advice?
Wikis come in a lot of forms. Wikispaces is one type of wiki. There's also WetPaint, Google Sits, PB Wiki (renamed PB Spaces, I think) and a host of others. They all do roughly the same thing but each offers slightly different bells and whistles.

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