I was contacted by The Smarties recently. The Australian class is setting up a wiki to learn about how Easter is celebrated around the World.
I'm interested in finding out how The Smarties going to update their wiki? Is it going to be done by the children using teacher logins or will they set up accounts for children?
I'm experimenting with giving my class their own passwords for a wiki I set up this week, but so far it's early days and most children have not really started contributing. We are using it to research questions we have about our history topic (the Egyptians) and our science topic (rocks and soils).
We are finding answers to our own questions which I hope will personalise learning. Theoretically the outcomes of the learning should be geared to the interests of the students. If it works well then it will allow 3W to demonstrate their understanding. There is also a huge social element which I am starting to glimpse. Some children will participate fully, some might be persuaded to follow along and others will, I'm sure, not make any posts or edits to the wiki.
I read Steve Wheeler's post about loafing and lurking. I anticipate that if I use collaborative learning tools more in my teaching, that I will need to think long and hard about how to encourage participation. It always seems to come down to motivation.
Steve also mentioned the risky nature of posting to a wiki, where edits can slash carefully written sentences and confidence could crumble.
Here's a link to a wiki of educational wikis, suggested by The Smarties.
It's the start of a long journey.