6th Grade Wiki’s

I had my first session with the 6th graders in the lab today. I blocked off an hour and 15 minutes for them to work. I started by showing them how to enter the databases and instructed them to use Britannica for the information about the poetry type and LitFinder to find the poet bios.

Then we dove into the Wikis. There is a vast gap of technical know-how among the group. Some kids zipped through, logged in and set up their Wikis quickly while others had problems even getting to WikiSpaces. I did enough instruction to let the ones who could figure it out go ahead and spent the rest of the time helping others catch up. I’m confident that, given enough time, several students will find this to be a useful tool.

Unfortunately, time is a big factor. Most of the students have their Wiki started, but their project is due next week. This leaves them little time to explore and use this new technology. I have a feeling that many of them will not continue it past what they did today. The only way around that would be to schedule them more computer time during library, but that can’t happen until next week, after their project is due to the teacher.

In the very least, I hope to have each of the students post their own example of poetry. If the students type and save their report, perhaps we can also load their other writing as well.

One thing that I like about the Wikis is that since they are online, they can be worked on from any computer that has internet access. I encouraged the students to work from home on it. If they do all their work online, they don’t have to worry about forgetting their notes or losing their flash drive.

I almost wish that I had done this with a younger class. The 6th graders are the highest grade at my school, so these students will be moving on next year to a new school. It would have been nice to have them again next year and have them do another Wiki without so much laborious instruction.

Published in: on April 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Hi Stacie: You raise some good point about the wikis – there is an initial learning curve, they are easy to use after the first time, and the work is assessible from anywhere.

    Ideally,you and the teacher would have worked together to create a due date that gives time to complete the wiki before the assignment is due. It normally will take at least 3 – 5 class periods. Just be sure to have them continue to work on the wikis after the project is due, so that you meet the terms of the project. Maybe the teacher will push the due date out longer if you show her the benefits. A wiki can also be the culminating artifact rather than putting it on paper.

    I think you have a good idea for next year – to start with younger students, so that the idea of using the technology becomes encultured in the school. I’ll look forward to seeing the wikis!

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