“Cool Tools for Schools” and “Getting Tricky with Wikis” – Two Exceptional Resources

As an educator interested in creating engaging wikis, you’ll want to keep resources like “Cool Tools for Schools” and “Getting Tricky with Wikis” handy for your Web 2.0 needs.

Julie, an 8th grade teacher, has made great use of both of these resources. First introduced to wikis at an educational conference, she was inspired by the creative and collaborative learning she saw happening with wikis and decided to build a similar learning experience for her kids. She began a wiki, set up the project guidelines, and added her students. Since the project started, Julie has had several kids wanting to do more advanced things with her wiki. She was able to help them by using these two great resources.

Lenva Shearing, the creator of these wikis, is the deputy principal of the Bucklands Beach Intermediate School in New Zealand and is an ICT facilitator for schools in her area. As she traveled to different schools, she was often asked by her colleagues about the online tools that were available to use in their classrooms.

Lenva began exploring different sites and keeping track of them on her wiki at http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com . “Teachers are busy people and if I can make it easier for them by locating these resources, testing them out and putting them in a central place, then I am happy to do it.” Lenva has since joined and evaluated over 500 different sites on the Internet, all which you can find on her wiki.

As she and her colleagues created more wikis, they wanted to have good-looking sites along with their educational content. Lenva kept track of the various tips and tricks she learned when designing her own wikis at http://gettingtrickywithwikis.wikispaces.com. There, you can find instructions to customize the layout and look of your wiki including how to add a table of contents to your site, place a background image on your page, and create column layouts.

If you are looking to do more with your own wiki, these two wikis are great resources to check out. We hope you enjoy them.

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13 Comments

  1. Posted August 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I am one of the many teachers who has the privilege of being supported by Lenva. She is a constant source of inspiration and information and challenges and motivates me.These two sites are an excellent resource that have proven to be invaluable for using wikispaces powerfully and effectively.
    Thanks Lenva!

  2. Laxman Rao
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    i liked the wiki and would like to establish the similar one for the information professionals
    can I get help?

  3. Mims
    Posted August 30, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I am amazed at the amount of quality resources listed! I am going to use them.
    Thanks

  4. Gioko
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    This is great.
    I hope to explore more in your wikis to see how I will benefit from them.

    Thank

  5. Melissa Techman (@mtechman on Twitter)
    Posted August 31, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    While I like Cool Tools for Schools, I like this a lot more:
    http://webtools4u2use.wikispaces.com/
    This wiki is made by school librarians or their colleagues and all teachers.
    I love the way it is set up – highlighting “5 to Test Drive” and giving examples of use. It is also adding rubrics!

  6. Posted September 1, 2009 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    I have created a wiki for my class year 6. It has been a great success . The students find it very engaging and are enthusiastic to add to their own pages. I use it to post assignment and homework as well as student work samples. The students critique each others writing samples and assignments. They communicate with each other through blog pages and mail 24/7. I have 2 students OS who keep in contact with us and blog about their travels and experiences. I use it to post student podcasts and digital stories. They love adding to their pages each of which has a relevance to the class eg 6W New of the week, Band page, sports page, uplaod page etc. It has increased student engagement in ICT and alot of collaborative learning has occured.

  7. Giovanni
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I ´m an ESL teacher in Colombia. I need some help regarding the use of the wiki, I started with my 8th grade students a project about writing a dictionary, my 25 students accessed at the same and it was impossible to create a single page because every student erased what had been done by the others , this was not not on purpose, I just don´t know how to solve the problem. I would appreciat any help.
    Thank you in advance.
    Giovanni

  8. Oladipo
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    ok. what exactly is “cool tools for school” ive been hearing about it lately and not understandng the concept. it seems very how u say………confusing to me and my brain.

  9. Posted September 12, 2009 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Congrats for the wiki! Great job! I loved it!

    Raquel

  10. dviteri@ism.edu.ec
    Posted September 13, 2009 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Hi there!

    How do I make a wiki like cool tools for schools?

    Thanks

    Diego

  11. Debbie
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Hi Giovanni,

    We suggest creating a page per student. That way each student can edit their own page without worrying about erasing another student’s information. You can then combine it all later to make a dictionary.

    Cheers,
    Debbie

  12. Teresa
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I am a teacher librarian in a high school who spends a lot of time helping teachers integrate web 2.0 tools. I love this site! Thank you so much for making it available for all of us in the trenches!
    Outstanding!
    Teresa

  13. Posted September 16, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    I have used Lenva’s Getting Tricky with Wikis site many times and have passed on all her great information. Much appreciated Lenva, you are a fantastic inspiration!

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