How many of you have used www.wikipedia.org before? Have you seen your students use it to get information? Did you know Wikipedia is the largest Wiki in the world? Anyone (even you) can contribute to the website and update any topic.
What is a Wiki???
A wiki is a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content. It is the best way to promote collaboration and host one central place for everyone in a group to work together. There are many websites that have been created to allow anyone to create a wiki. My personal favorite is www.pbworks.com because you can sign up for a FREE educator site and have a PASSWORD PROTECTED site for your class to use. PBworks also allows you to create student accounts without email! The great thing about wiki’s is that they are accessible ONLINE, so your students can access them at home, or in China for that matter! J (As long as they have an Internet connection, of course!)
Still confused? Watch this –
What to learn more? Visit these sites…
http://www.smartteaching.org/blog/2008/08/50-ways-to-use-wikis-for-a-more-collaborative-and-interactive-classroom – Integration ideas
http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2006/08/how-i-use-wikis-what-do-you-do.html – more integration ideas
http://jesseportfolio.wikispaces.com – Student E-portfolio example using wiki’s
OR…talk to these teachers in the district who are using them!
Chelsea Faase, Steph Albers, Sheila Kohl, ME! (All of these sites are password protected. You will have to ask the teacher for permission to enter if you would like to see what they are doing with them.)
Here is a PowerPoint presentation that I created to introduce wiki’s to my students – http://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dhdzmvsd_86dvsv7bgv You are more than welcome to use it if you need it.
Did you know??? A handful of us attended the TIES Convention in Minneapolis on Monday and Tuesday. The TIES Convention uses a wiki to allow all of the presenters to upload their presentation materials. YOU HAVE ACCESS!!! If you would like to look through some of the topics and explore some of the materials, go ahead! The web address is – http://wiki.ties.k12.mn.us/2009+Sessions
This week, our Tech Talk was about the software program, Kidspiration. Kidspiration is the kid-friendly version of Inspiration, and provides a visual way to explore and understand words, numbers, and concepts. The software provides LOTS of pre-made graphic organizers, but also allows you to create your own graphic organizer if that is what you prefer. Watch this video to get a brief overview of the software (Note: The version she demos is SLIGHTLY different than the one in our lab.) –
Here are some GREAT lesson ideas from the Kidspiration website – http://cf.inspiration.com/resources/index.cfm
There is a web based free program similar to Inspiration located at www.mywebspiration.com. It is not quite as kid friendly as Kidspiration, but may come in handy if you want to create your own visual diagram on the SmartBoard in your classroom. You will need to create an account with this site to use it.
Will Richardson is challenging our thinking this morning. What a great, insightful post! Be sure to watch the YouTube video embedded in his blog -
It reminds me of a couple of quotes I read awhile back…
“Kids don’t see laptops, MP3 players, cell phones, DVD players, and video games as technology, it’s just life.” ~Todd Wright
“When we realize that the primary focus is learning, not technology, we understand the need to create a learning vision rather than a technology vision.” ~Ian Jukes
Today we explored www.spellingcity.com! SpellingCity is a great site to use to engage your students and excite them about learning new spelling words! This also means…no more grading spelling tests! The website will do it for you!
To get started, all you have to do is visit the site and register. (Upper right hand corner) Once you’ve registered, you will receive a confirmation email. After confirming your account, visit the site again to log in. Click on “List Management” to create the spelling lists for your class. Differentiation is easy! Just create multiple lists for each unit! (Example – Unit 1 short, Unit 1, Unit 1 Challenge)
Students can visit the site and click “Find a List.” Once they find you, they can click on the unit that you have assigned and take a pretest, receive instruction on the words, play games to review words, and take a post-test. It’s a blast!
Here is a short video tutorial you can watch for more information –
Did you know? Don’t feel like waiting until tomorrow morning for your “spam” mail? Pull up an old spam mail email and look at the top for ‘To view CURRENT messages held as spam click here.’ Once you click on that link, it will take you to all of the messages that were held in spam since the last report. (Which may include your registration to SpellingCity!!!)
Next week’s topic – Inspiration Software