Collaborative Wikis in the Classroom

Classroom 2.0 Conference
September 19, 2008
Capital Area Intermediate Unit

Dave Mendell

Goals for this session

- Give you strategies for using tools that you may already use (or have learned about).
- Show some new tools and strategies to engage students in the learning process

Essential Questions

- As a teacher, what do you wish your kids did better /more of /could do?
- How can technology help?
- How do we connect digital learners with the teaching of traditional subjects?
- Why do I want to/need to create an online presence for my classroom?
- Where do I start?

My Goal... is to get you thinking... about the possibilities

Some Backgroung Info...

The differences between digital native learners and digital immigrant teachers.
Digital Native Learners
Digital Immigrant Teachers

Prefer receiving information quickly from multiple multimedia sources.
Prefer slow and controlled release of information from limited sources.
Prefer parallel processing and multitasking.
Prefer singular processing and single or limited tasking.
Prefer processing pictures, sounds and video before text.
Prefer to provide text before pictures, sounds and video.
Prefer random access to hyperlinked multimedia information.
Prefer to provide information linearly, logically and sequentially.
Prefer to interact/network simultaneously with many others.
Prefer students to work independently rather than network and interact.
Prefer to learn “just-in-time.”
Prefer to teach “just-in-case” (it’s on the exam).
Prefer instant gratification and instant rewards.
Prefer deferred gratification and deferred rewards.
Prefer learning that is relevant, instantly useful and fun.
Prefer to teach to the curriculum guide and standardized tests.


I use 2 overlapping, infinitely intertwined wikis, along with individual student wikis in my classroom...
- My overarching goal is to find new ways to engage students in their learning.
- The collaborative nature of my wikis has evolved over time.
- I add and develop projects as the need arises.


- Widgets are the coolest way to promote collaboration using wikis!


- Don't overplan...keep it simple
- Commit to using it regularly

- Wikis are fluid and constantly changing; therefore you don't have to have it finished before you start to use it!

4 Tools that I use for collaboration:

- Classroom Wiki
- Classroom Student Wiki
- Individual Student Wikis
- Class blog

Classroom Wiki

- teacher controlled - I use wikispaces, but it can be anything...

- Content Area resource pages - Static -

**Colonial Pennsylvania Project** - This group project utilized wikis along with **BUBBL** to share information with the class

**Social Studies**
- Constitution project - we are going to start using **xtimeline** to build a timeline and organize events...

**Language Arts**

**Bookshare Projects** Students worked collaboratively to learn how I wanted them to do their book reports.

**Bookshare Guidelines**

**Spelling Guidelines** -

**Math**- There are so many math pages, this is a great way to get kids to focus on the ones YOU like!

Post HW - I recommend waiting to do this

Writing - see students' individual wikis...

Classroom Student Wiki

- Students have editorial permissions for this site
- Collaborative projects -
- Chat - CBox is an embedded chat box.
- I have it on a PRIVATE page so only my students, who are members of the wiki, can access it.

Past Project Samples -

- Colonial PA

- Mr. Henshaw

- Cookie Campaign

- **Reading Response Blog**
- my is hosted privately, but can be done via edublogs.

Future Project Ideas -

This is a lot of fun! I use this to give directions to my kids...
',0,0,0' width='360' height='348' id=' Player' align='middle'>

- Voicethread allows for multiple format comments to digital presentations...
– This is my sample idea...

- In the past I have used Photostory to create visual writing prompts...
- Students can also use this in a manner similar to Voicethread...narrate their writing, etc...
- Sorry Mac folks...this is Microsoft!

Indvidual Student Wikis -

- Full control/access - (set up thru wikispaces)
- Manage content
- use to collaborate


Bubbl - online, collaborative concept mapping tool
Blabberize - A fun way to make pictures talk
Voicethread - audio/video discussion threads
C Box- embeddable chat box
Xtimeline - timelines online
Photostory - Use to narrate slideshows and create video writing prompts
- Sign up for your free K-12 wiki!
PB Wiki-
Edublogs- free blogs for teachers

Dave’s Websites, Wikis and other Resources

Email -
dmendell [at]
Student Wiki –
Class Blog
Reading Response Blog -

InfoSavvy Group -