Well, I ventured out of that comfort zone again this week to explore the wiki platform available at wikispaces.com. Looking at some other uses for wikis, I was quite excited at the prospect of this particular corner of technology. I don’t know what I expected, but after I clicked, “join,” underwhelmed exaggerates my response. The actual joining, was simplistic, but the exploring left everything to be desired. I wasn’t sure what would be seen by students – um, who am I kidding? I wasn’t sure how to even begin creating without a purpose. I closed the “dashboard,” and signed out. Then I went to the opening website page for WikiSpaces and read “About” and tapped through “Blog” and found, “Best Educational Wikis of 2010.” Yes, four years ago the iPad was barely marketed, but here I found a not a little corner, but the connection to the world. Tapping to read and learn, and intrigued by, “Greetings from the World” I pressed on hopeful and excited. This wiki site invited students to create informational educational posters highlighting communities in which they live. One of the teachers contributing to “Greetings from the World’ has been on my twitter list “following” list since I opened my account and I now follow her through bloglovin weekly, Shannon McClintock Miller. She impressed me early in this adventure of librarianship and I’ve often returned to see her happenings. Imagine, an Iowa town connecting to Turkey, Portugal, and Bulgaria. I understood the value of opening a space for collaboration a world wide with the interest of learning, looking, and creating.
A little advantageous, yes, though I’ll not lie. I wanted to get my students hooked up to this sparkling world. Tiptoeing some simple steps in this little technology corner would have to satisfy my urge today. I relied on an older reliable friend, Google. I searched, “How do elementary school teachers use wikis?” I wandered through math projects, language arts projects, classroom wikis that acted as classroom websites, and a personal favorite, “The Monster Project.” Oh my, there are so many things to try, but I remind myself that today a corner of the world will be discovered.
I returned to my WIkiSpace, MurksMusings, created a post, pages, and assessed the student view with my daughter alongside. She was able to view videos and read my notes. We were able to edit and add content. She enriched the wiki with her knowledge, her views, her ideas, and because she was teaching, she was learning. Collaboration, teaching, and learning in WikiSpace.
Slowly, this cyber-traveler compiles a collection of corners tiptoeing all around the world.