Saturday, December 21, 2013

Collaborative Wiki Project In A Science Classroom

In November I had the opportunity to sit in and work with one of the science teachers at Andover High School Mollie Shenker who developed a lesson using Wikis with her students collaboratively. Students grouped in pairs were assigned a project to create a wiki, which covered invertebrates. Students added links, photos, different pages and text, which described their chosen family of invertebrates. 

Mollie was very creative with her approach to this lesson in that after students had begun their wikis she had them edit each other’s wiki and share the knowledge that each group had developed on their pages. Another twist was that the students from different classes do the editing and by doing this created great cross collaboration and sharing. 

Besides using Wikis for the creation of the pages students also used the Ipad in the class for the adding of the pages, inserting images and editing text. A tip for teachers who want to try and use Wikis on the IPad's should know is that they do not have a great view on the layout of the Ipad. It is hard to create and edit pages. A recommendation would be to have student use laptops or desktops for the use of Wikis. 

Another tool Mollie had students use to collaborate with their acquired content was Google Docs. These were used to assist students with sharing their collaborative research before it was added to the Wiki. One of the issues students found using the Ipad's with the Google Docs was the ability to add emails to share their documents without using the desktop view on the Ipad's.

Overall this project was well conceived and relied on students to use a variety of technology-based tools and develop fluency with them to gain a desired result. Another component that added a layer of detail to the students project was the creation of clear citations for all the sources from images, content and links. This added an important layer to the editing process for students an allow them to find new sources and evaluate the organization of content.