Featured wiki(s): CoasttoCoastChroniclesEd

Julie Ramsay started CoasttoCoastChroniclesEd1 in November of 2009. CoasttoCoastChroniclesEd2, CoasttoCoastChroniclesEd3, and CoasttoCoastChroniclesEd4 followed shortly after.

1. Briefly describe your group, your wiki, and what you use it to do:
After spending several years having my students correspond and work with students on the other side of the country, I was in search of some learning partners who wanted to expand to a much more student-driven and student created project. Our diverse group includes 200+ students in grades 2 through 6 from five different states and their seven teachers. We wanted for our students to use Web 2.0 tools in order to create, communicate, and collaborate. The students created an online journal, named The Coast to Coast Chronicles, on Wikispaces using a different wiki for each edition. For each edition that the students created, they discussed possible themes and then worked to create content for the other students which reinforced their content standards while teaching their audience. This project was driven and created by the students.

2. Besides the Edit button, which wiki feature is your favorite?
My students really enjoyed how easy it was to embed their many different types of projects into the wiki from weblinks to videos and much more. Wikispaces proved to be an outstanding format for the students to publish all of their varied writing and Web 2.0 projects for our audience.

3. What is one way you’re using wikis and other web 2.0 tools in your projects?
Depending on the theme for each edition, the young writers would brainstorm a list of possible project ideas that they wanted to create for the current edition of The Coast to Coast Chronicles. Much of the planning of each edition was done by the students through Skype and Moodle which provided synchronous and asynchronous conversations. They used tools like Wordle, Simply Box, Playcrafter, Wallwisher, ProProfs Quiz Maker, VoiceThread, Storyjumper, and Flickr to create content that not only reinforced their state standards, but also enhanced the content for the other students across the country. One project was a “wiki roulette” where all of the students across the country worked on writing one story together, editing, adding, and publishing. As one student said, “The cool part of The Coast to Coast Chronicles was that we had over 200 teachers working together and teaching us which is a really fun way to learn.” The students really embraced the idea that through these Web 2.0 tools, they were not only participants, but teachers exploring and sharing new ideas and bringing their perspective, background knowledge, and experience to the entire group.

4. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why I use wikis!”
There were so many Aha! moments while using wikis. I’d have to say that the biggest Aha! moment was when we had first begun our project. We were getting ready to upload all of the students’ work onto the wiki for the first time. In the past, I have always posted their work online on the class website. The emphasis being “I.” Students would finish their project, load it to a pen drive, and then I would upload it in the evening or on the weekend for their friends and family to see. With wikis, the students uploaded their own work. They had the instant gratification of immediately seeing their work published which motivated them to keep creating and writing. They also were very mindful that once it was published others would be seeing it immediately, which spurred them into being thoughtful about what they created and the importance of using these tools to communicate effectively. Once they saw their work, they were eager to find another tool or create another writing piece for that edition. These writers were empowered with the entire process of their work, from brainstorming to publication. Wikis put the power of the entire process into the students’ hands.

5. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you?
It would say, “These kids rock!” This project was totally about the students. The students took ownership and pride in everything that they created and they were always hungry for more. Their writing and communicating abilities, confidence, and creativity blossomed. It was a truly amazing thing to witness these second through sixth grade students. We gave them the power and they far exceeded any of our initial expectations.

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8 Comments

  1. Tina Roberts
    Posted August 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful responses. It truly shares that the students were the ones who powered this project. Way to go Julie.

  2. Posted August 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I use the Wiki to give my ESL students a place to go and do things that will enhance their Reading/writing, Grammar and Listening/speaking skills. Not only do they improve their english but there are also some other stuff on Culture/Music, Environmental pages and TOEFL videos. They love it.

  3. Posted September 1, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    What a great way to work together with students to learn and create something that all participants have ownership of. Just imagine the learning that has happened in those classrooms!

    My students are just beginning their journey with web2.0 tools……. the long road ahead awaits.

  4. Racheal noel
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    i like this new wiki thing i am a sophmore and i learned new things this is great!!!!!

  5. Irineo
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Hello… friends
    I have read your article. It’s possible find a tutorial that helpme to create students workgroups and define activities on line.

    Thanks for your help.

  6. Posted September 4, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Interesting views have acsti students. I study in a country where a student teacher interaction is mostly virtual not physical. But I’d like to participate myself in such a program.

  7. Jaki Day
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    How do you convince your school district to use wikispaces. Our system won’t allow third party interactions between student and teachers. Do you have a private lable? Any other safety measure that you use?

    Thanks

  8. Jack
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    sounds like a very full proof and awesome system

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