I am particularly interested in anyone's experiences with wikis (what's the best one?) and nings in the classroom. I am wondering about safety issues (can I protect my students' identities) and how to manage middle schoolers using these technologies. I am the Technology Integrator for my middle school, so I am looking for ways to use these particularly in English, American History, and/or Science. Does anybody out there have any great ideas or examples? What about global classroom projects that worked well using these technologies?

Tags: ning, wiki

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Hi Barbara:
I have teachers grade 2-12 that are using wikis in their classrooms with their students successfully. PBwiki is a web 2.0 tool that is specifically made to cater to education. A teacher can create student accounts without any email needed by those students. The teacher simply creates an account and can set up a classroom.

Some of the teachers are using it for journaling - each student has their own page. Some of the teachers are using it as a book review/discussion forum. The teachers are aware of security, so either set their wiki to private or use non-identifying markers for each student.

I actually have a collaborative wiki between 2 HS social studies teachers, 2 3rd grade teachers, a social studies college class, and several middle school classrooms - all schools located in different towns across Montana. Their focus is on community. The 3rd grade students pose questions for the rest of the classrooms to research and answer. It is really cool. FYI, this wiki was started about 2 months ago with just 3 schools participating and has grown to 6 that I know of.

I would guess, just posting this question here, you will get a lot of educators wanting to help you!

If you are interested in visiting any of the wikis I mentioned, let me know. I am a Technology Integration Specialist K-12 and my teachers are expected to share their resources as part of the staff development program I coordinate.
Hi Desiree:
I would love to see some of the wikis you mentioned. What a great way to collaborate and build a mult-age community!
Thanks so much. I would love to visit the wikis you mentioned. I looked a PBwiki and Wetpaint but wasn't sure which one to try. I love the idea of using a collaborative wiki with multiple classes and a variety of levels, great idea! I teach K-2 and 7th and 8th Computer classes, so perhaps I could have the 7th and 8th graders set up a wiki that the younger students could use for a class project... thinking out loud... maybe the older students could use the younger ones responses as part of a research project on kids and technology or something...

Any ideas out there for this kind of collaboration?
Hi Guys:
Sorry for the late reply to this. I wanted to give you a good collection of wikis...I have a wiki on wetpaint: Marzano: Classroom Instruction That Works (For 21st Century Learners) and here is a link to a collection of blogs and wikis that my teachers have created: BPS TILT. Finally, I didn't create this one but use it all the time...CoolTools Wiki.

If you are interested, visit my blog or delicious account for more resources.

Hope you can find some value in these - my teachers are always open to collaborating globally so just let me know and I can make the connection for you.
Thank you so much for this post! The wikis are very helpful, and I love the Cool Tools! I am in the process of setting up a wiki for our 8th grade History class. They are going to be studying the Nuremberg Trials. I think the kids will love it. I am using Wikispaces.

Barbara
I like Wetpaint for a wiki site, it's easy to use, unlimited space and no adevertising for education. My first wiki was to gather resources for Secondary Business teachers, I've since started a few others, one will be an online text book for my civics students and another will be for a community environmental project that I am a part of. I'm also testing our ning for my face to face civics students and think I might use a ning for my online students. There are so many great tools out there just trying one at a time for now.
http://mjpageeducation.blogspot.com/2009/01/wikis-in-education.html
Thanks, Mj. Your blogsite looks nice!
Hi Barbara
Another good wiki resource is http://gettingtrickywithwikis.wikispaces.com/ by the same author as cooltools (my colleague at BBI). Try looking at http://teambonmymind.wikispaces.com/ for a 'real' working wiki, used by my team last year to inform, manage and resource a group of intermediate age students. The links and resources are still active- it really helped with parental participation too.
The kids advanced on to their own wikis at http://teambmakingadifference.wikispaces.com/ for their social science inquiry learning projects. Wikispaces are easy to use, quick to pick up, and versatile enough to accept most web 2.0 applications.
Great stuff, I really appreciate it! I am setting it all up, and now I can't wait to use the tricywikis features. Many thanks!
We've been using Ning with great success! The ning we have setup gives us the ability to communicate with the students as well as put student work on display. It's restricted access, so our students cannot be followed or viewed by outside entities.

Over all, we've been very pleased using a ning in the school, and prefer it over the wiki for school-wide use.
Great to know, I am planning on using a Ning with my summer program. Thanks!

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