What is a wiki?
A website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change available content.

Wikis in plain English

Philosophy of Wikis (taken from various sites including wikispaces.com and Teacher Hacks)
- The process is the product.
- Meaning is developed and guided out of the social interactions at the point where text is created.
- One of the most obvious benefits of using a wiki is the ability to offer a quick way to collaborate textually, while creating a content rich
- Where the knowledge of the group is greater than an individual, and the end product is the result of the group’s interactions.

Why wikis in the classroom?
Increased student engagement, creativity, collaboration, meta-cognition, interpersonal skills (from Teachers First). Check out this Teachers First site to see some great reasons for using wikis in the classroom. http://www.teachersfirst.com/content/wiki/whywiki.cfm

Create a Wiki

  • Create a Class Wiki
  • Add text, documents, images and multimedia files
  • Manage and invite other participants to join the wiki
  • Curriculum Connections

Create a Class Wiki
FCPS supports the use of WikiSpaces. Be sure to use the EDU version when setting up your site. This version is advertisement free and has all the features of the paid version.
WikiSpaces - http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers
  1. Click the link to http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers.
  2. Enter your account information - make sure you click the radio button for Private and click the check box for "I certify this space will be used for K-12 education."
  3. Log into your space and add a simple line of text on a new page (New Page).

Add Stuff
Once your wiki is created it is time to add text, documents, images, links and multimedia (your content).
Click Edit This Page -
Edit This Page Button
Edit This Page Button

This will launch the editing window and tool bar. Add content through this window. Don't forget to click SAVE when finished.
Wiki Editor Bar
Wiki Editor Bar

WikiSpaces Quick Guide: http://sites.fcps.org/trt/sites/default/files/wikispaces_quick_guide.pdf
Adding Files and Images Video: http://www.wikispaces.com/site/tour/files
Embed a Widget Video: http://www.wikispaces.com/site/tour/widgets

Click on the Manage Wiki link on the left side of the page.
Manage Wiki Icon
Manage Wiki Icon

Now choose one of the tools: Pages, Files, Permissions, Invite Peole, Look and Feel
Manage WikiSpace Screen
Manage WikiSpace Screen

Pages - From here you can lock and unlock pages and see page history.
Files - From here you can manage all files you have uploaded or upload new files.
Permissions - Set the permission for your wiki from here. You can also lock and unlock pages from this screen.
Invite People - Send invitations for others to contribute/collaborate on your wiki.
Look and Feel - Choose your Theme, Colors and Style.
User Creator - This is an advance feature however, you'll want to use this if you want to mass enroll your students without having them have an email account. See how to do this by opening this PDF document.

Resource: Invite others to become a member of your wiki video: http://www.wikispaces.com/site/tour/invitations
Curriculum Connections
What does the Classroom that Uses a Wiki Look Like?
  • student-centered
  • students contribute content
  • students participate in the sharing process
  • students demonstrating understanding of content with the teacher and other students
  • emphasizes the research and writing process, rather than just the finished product

Wikis in the Classroom - Strategies
1. Collaborative Projects
2. Student Demonstration of Knowledge.
3. Online Resources for Classroom Use - lesson summaries, collaborations of notes, concept introductions
4. Wikis as a Classroom Webpage
5. Wiki Filing Cabinet
6. Problem Solving
7. Discussions


These are just some examples of wikis that have been created and used by elementary teachers and students around the country.

School: Wilson Elementary
Description: a second grade wiki in its beginning stages

School: Wilson Elementary
Description: a one year old second grade wiki originally created by the teacher, but largely constructed and edited by students.

School: Discovery Elementary, Buffalo, Minnesota
Description: This wiki is designed as an interactive space for students who record their daily assignments, collaboratively write wiki-books and engage in discussions about books they have read and enjoyed. Feel free to contribute! Go to the blog link to see posts about classroom happenings, or to listen to podcasts done during a monthly Senior Citizen/student collaborative writing project.

District: Woodward Academy
Description: Created by third graders during a unit study of pioneers and the westward expansion.

School : Deira International School, Dubai
Description : Work created by students based on the book by Louis Sachar
Topic : Analyisis of the book, and some activities based around the themes of the novel

School: Pocantico Hills School, Sleepy Hollow, NY
District: Pocantico Hills School District
Description: Five 5th graders and I created this wiki - our first - chronicling our journey through the book, The Hobbit. It was quite an exciting experiment. While we are now finished with the novel, we still go back and add new ideas to our wiki. It includes writing assignments, multimedia projects, and discussions.

School: Eleanor W. Graham Middle School
Description: A place for students to access homework, science/math related interactive websites in class , communication with parents on ongoing or past projects, (more to come)
Topic: Math and Science

School: Nettleton Magnet School, Duluth, MN, U.S.A.
Description: Welcome to Mr. Monson's grade 5 classroom wiki. Each month I post a question for people to answer. We hope to collect 1,000 things on our list each month. Check out our other online spaces as well!

School: San Miguel Elementary
Description: The world is our classroom. We are a group of 2nd and 3rd grade students who are sharing what we are learning with the world!

School: Carl Sandburg Elementary School
Description: A class wikipage where parents and students can access information about what is happening in the classroom. We have a homework page where homework information is posted, a link page where students can find game links and informational links about the units we study in the classroom, a page where student work is posted for parents to see, a poll page where students can respond to weekly post during the school year. Also (just added) a Just for Teachers page. On this page you can find a list of helpful links that you can use in your classroom with your students!!

School: Twin Chimneys Elementary, O'Fallon MO U.S.A.
Description: A classroom website under continuous revision. Mostly used for classroom management at this point, but will also be used for publishing student work. Created with pbwiki.

For more examples go to this site - http://educationalwikis.wikispaces.com/Examples of educational wikis