Rosemary Mitchell started the ART4Cast wiki in May, 2008.
1. Briefly describe your group, your wiki, and what you use it to do:
I am the Visual Art Specialist at a model Title 1, urban school for 700 high-risk, low-income, majority ESL learners. Each class has visual art for one hour each week because of a Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program Grant, beginning in 2008. As a 27-year elementary teacher, luckily with a BFA, I was the recipient of this grant the year after receiving my technology certification with the eMints classroom technology program, where I used a wikispace for my 4th grade computer classroom.
The only way to design, organize, and schedule this “NEW” art program was with a wiki. I communicate and plan with my 30 teachers successfully for this research-based grant through my wiki, because it gives them control of their scheduling conflicts and input on lesson planning. Can I just say, in two years, not a teacher in my building has missed art, because of the accountability that comes with the wiki.
2. Besides the Edit button, which wiki feature is your favorite?
OK, so, how many websites have their own search engine? And wikis are so about sharing and not competing – what this century needs to keep the creativity alive that our students need to solve the problems of the future.
I love the management of my wiki – checking page visits and analyzing necessary clean up. It’s kind of like a business – I want to sell some art teachers on my wiki by just being helpful and saving them some time. It’s all about sharing.
3. What is one way you’re using wikis and other web 2.0 tools in your projects?
Through my wiki, I am making a heavy-hearted, true effort to keep creativity alive. My wiki is the best listening board I have.
Not only do I use web 2.0 tools to keep me art teacher savvy, but with the posted lesson plans for my teachers, I am able to link lesson extensions for them to use in the classroom. With our 4th through 6th graders in computer classrooms, this has been well received by many of our students and produced increased meaning in their artwork. Many students access ART4cast from home – adding meaning to the site.
4. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why I use wikis!”
- First, when my computer crashed upgrading from Tiger to Leopard – everything important to me was on my wiki.
- Second, my 13 filing cabinets (full size and FULL) were struck with disaster. I didn’t even open them and no heartache – because I had my wiki.
5. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you?
“I’m so glad to see you finally grasping the skill of organization and simplifying your life. A good day spent is a day with you, because I always end the day more organized and with more to share with the world.”