Joanne Thomas started the ah-bon-french wiki in November of 2007.
1. Briefly describe your group, your wiki, and what you use it to do:
This wiki is a full year curriculum of my 6th grade French textbook. It has notes, videos, audio, images, student projects and web 2.0 practice, as well as lesson plan bullets for teachers and parents with video footage of the activities. I created it as an online textbook for my students and was happily surprised that people from at least 216 countries have used it. It has been visited enough times over the years to be recognized by the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) as one of the top 5 searches for “Middle School French”, “Middle School French Textbook”, “Madame Thomas” and “Ah bon”. I never used any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques! In 2009 “Teacher’s Discovery” French discovered my web presence and contacted me to publish the information in the wiki as a textbook. The teacher’s guide and textbook came out in 2011.
2. Besides the Edit button, which wiki feature is your favorite?
I like the “table” feature because I can neatly organize my chapters and units and users can find things immediately. A close second is the “Oops, what have I done?!” retrieval feature that the wiki offers in case a student erases a page or I mess up a page!
3. What is one way you’re using wikis and other web 2.0 tools in your projects?
I had the students make e-pal videos and add other “fun facts” info for their pen-pal friends in France. They made a French video for their practice and then an English video for their pen pals’ practice. They had a great time with it.
4. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why I use wikis!”
It is so nice to have all the info in one spot for student and parent access. I had a student who was in the hospital for a few weeks and the parents and I thought, “How is she going to catch up?”. Then, “AHA! She can use the wiki!”. I contacted the parents and the hospital tutor and they were thrilled she could still work at the hospital.
5. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you?
It would say, “Que vous êtes venue de loin, bébé” (You’ve come a long way, baby). I have had the best teaching years with this wiki and have been able to share the info with countless students and teachers around the world. Oh, and it would say, “You’re welcome that a publisher discovered me and you’re officially an author”! The Spanish version of my textbook will be out in the spring of 2013. I love you Wikispaces!!!!!! Here are my other wikis: