Michele Haiken’s class, an elective for 7th and 8th graders on the history of rock and roll music, first began using Wikispaces after being introduced to it from a school computer coordinator. For their first project, they created a Webquest about the 1980′s rock and roll scene. “Students were required to research about music in the 1980s and design a rock exhibit for a rock and roll museum. Students worked in groups to create various products – feature articles, press releases, teaching and student guides, and museum calendars – explaining the exhibit highlights.”
This led to another project on the 50 All-Time Greatest Rockers. Each student was assigned a specific rock and roll artist to research, and was required to design a wikipage highlighting the artist. In addition, the class used the discussion pages available in Wikispaces for students to critique their classmates. “There had to be an entire mini-lesson on what was an appropriate response in the discussion section. The experience was useful. Looking though the discussions you will find that a lot of the students had great insights to add. And this insight went beyond `great page, cool graphics.’”
Michele said that they learned along the way how best to have students work together online in constructive and educational ways. After the first project, she decided to design the 50 Rocker product differently so that each student could be responsible for editing his own page. “As for photobuckets and other widgets, the students really showed me how to do that. Once one student started it, I asked how to do it, then taught other students. We were learning from each other – myself included.” And the learning continues as Michele is beginning new wiki projects for her classes this semester.
For more on webquests, you can check out the Classroom 2.0 Wiki Resources page. Under the “Books and Articles” section, there is an article called “The Student Webquest.”