This is the third installment in a series [1 2] based on my recent conversation with Vicki Davis (blog), the visionary teacher behind the Westwood Schools Wikispace. This week, Vicki tells us about the design & structure of the Westwood wiki, and the ways students use it. Vicki, thanks again!
- Tell me about the structure of the wiki, and what kinds of activities are on it?
The Wiki has a home page which is now a mashup with posts from my class blog, the school news blog, and the school calendar. It has become a one stop place for my students to see what is going on in computer science and at school. I also keep a listing of all past projects on the home page (scroll down) as well as a listing of current projects. I either give the assignments orally or via paper, however, I usually post the assignment on the wiki as well.Here is how this works for us:
Ninth Grade- Computer Applications – They create study sheets and notes for each applications lesson. (PowerPoint, Access, Excel, Planning Skills, and a project on mashups have been worked on since Christmas.) By the day before the test, it is their responsibility to create a wiki on their assigned lesson along with their partner.Although it is a team responsibility, I make it clear that I give individual grades. If they do not contribute to their team wiki, they receive a zero. This keeps everyone motivated and working!
Computer Science (10th, 11th) – We’ve used the wiki to collaborate on notes, discuss the ethics of computer crimes, review for the SAT (Math – 7th period, Math -6th period)and our original Web 2.0 project. I also have used the wiki extensively in their semester assessments.