Last year I took my first steps into creating wikis with my students. I created one for a computer class and one for a math class. I made up some ids for them to share. This year I want them to have their own ids.

I've also set up a del.icio.us account for the school and I think I would at least like to let the older kids create their own accounts.

Finally, I am going to try a class blog for math class.

First, I'd like to know how different teachers approach having the students create their own user names. I will be teaching 6th through 8th graders. I'm sure not all of them have email accounts which wikispaces and del.icio.us require.

Second, I've created a parental permission form to let the families know about my plan and I'd like to know if anyone does this and what has worked in that regard. I'm curious if some parents will choose to withhold permission for these web sites.

Thanks in advance.
Ann

Tags: blogs, bookmarks, wikis

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I'm a high school social studies teacher, and I have students create various accounts similar to the ones you've mentioned. Each student has a school user name for our student server. I always make them use that username. If I were in a situation in which they didn't have school usernames, I would insist on consistency. First names and last initial or something that you can easily recognize. It makes monitoring various registrations a lot easier for the teacher. Good luck!
Patterns are a good idea. I sort of went that way with the ids I created last year. Consistency makes sense. Thanks for the advice. I'll put these ideas in my plan.
What ever you decide to do, be safe and organized. I keep spread sheets of all user names and passwords. I make sure students know I have access to everything they do. I also have my students use same email and password for all accounts.

I also send very detailed info to parents and have them sign for everything! I see 70 gifted kids K-6 a week and have no resistance to what we are doing.
Do you have them create a school email id through a public service like gmail or do you have the ability to make accounts through a school email system? It does make sense to be the one to assign the password to everything so that I can go into anything and there is no pretense of privacy. Spreadsheets make sense too. Thank you.
We use a company called http://think.com, owned by Oracle, but they only take kids K-6. It's a very closed environment and very safe--in another discussion, on Classroom 2.0, I wrote a longer explanation of pros and cons. Here is the link to the other discussion if you missed it---http://classroom20.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=649749%3ATopic%3A39554
I know this isn't what you asked, but check out Darren Kuropatwa's webs. He's a math teacher and has his students do wonderful things with blogs. Some of the things that his students wrote were well above my head.
I did come across these webs. He has such a great, bottomless pit of information, it's hard to grasp it all. I found something he wrote about the number of exposures it takes to learn something, but I can't find it again. Have you any idea where that might be. I would be so happy to have the kids get this involved. I just have to remember that it's one small step and a time to get there. Thanks for the message.
Ann, Wikispaces is the greatest to use with students. Here's what we did with around 150 students working on a class wiki....
Create a list on a spreadsheet with user names and passwords. We configured our students user names with their first name and their homeroom number. Their password were their network passwords, or a numerical combination of their initials and their homeroom mixed up in different ways so they'd be hard to figure out.
Email Andrew at help@wikispaces.com your list. He dumps the users into your wiki without having to sign each individual kid up with an email address. I teach in an elementary school where the children do not have their own school assigned email addresses. Wikispaces wants you to use their site with classes so they facilitate this be helping you enter the names.

I work in a very conservative school district. We used classblogmeister for blogs (also didn't need email addresses) and wikispaces. We told the parents that if the students didn't participate in the assignments they way they were structured, the children would have to do an alternative assignment that required them to collaborate and share, just as the space provided. I had one parent resist because she didn't understand why we needed to get involved in this kind of work. I provided a link to my school wiki that had tons of articles about web2.0 in the classroom and other examples of how schools were working this way. We got every permission slip back. Now we just include all this other technology in our Acceptable User Policy.

Here's my link for wiki's:
http://sfxlg.wikispaces.com/What%27s+a+Wiki%3F
and blogs
http://iteachcomputers.wikispaces.com/Blogging

Good luck with all your work this year!
Nadine,

This is excellent stuff you've posted. While I didn't post the question, I've been wondering the same things.

Thanks!
Nadine: This information is perfect! I sent an email to David Warlick at blogmeister to find out how I can get setup at that website. I couldn't find it easily. I prefer to be on the very conservative side myself whenever the children work online. So far they've just created static web pages in sixth through eighth grade and the very minor work on the wikis last year in sixth and seventh grade. I've really avoided email and figured it was inevitable if I had to have them all create accounts for the wikis and blogs. Your message has opened up a whole, easier route to these projects. Thanks so much for your response. I look forward to taking some time to look at your wikis.

Ann
Brilliant! I'm "going all out" this year with all my students on a wiki and a ning, and I wanted consistent usernames. I'll be sending wikispaces the four lists of my classes (three wikis) today!
Thanks Nadine!

LOVE the wiki roles - I'm going to "glean" that gem.
Thanks Nadine for this invaluable information. The computer teacher and classroom teachers (once they become well-versed with blogging and using wiki) will find this tip very helpful. Hoping that we would also get every permission slip back with an OKAY. I understand the hesitation of parents but after a well-informative phone conversation or meeting, they understand why the school is going forward in this direction in technology.

Thanks Ann for starting this forum. I had the same thoughts as we have only created static pages as well. We feel that we are way behind by not getting the children involved.

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