Joe Mazza started the Knapp’s Family Engagement Wiki in March of 2010. We spoke with Gwen Pescatore, Knapp Elementary’s Home & School President.
We are an elementary school in Lansdale, PA. Our wiki page is our one-stop location where families can find all info for both our school and our Home & School Association. We not only use it to share our information, but also to encourage two-way communication and family involvement.
2. Besides the Edit button, which wiki feature is your favorite?
Not being the one who edits the page, but as a parent and contributor of information….my favorite feature is the ability for us to add widgets (such as a translator). We have over 20 languages spoken at our school and without this option, we limit our ability to share information with so many of our families.
3. What is one way you’re using wikis and other web 2.0 tools in your projects?
We use the wiki to share the basics, such as our school calendar, policies and parent association’s monthly meeting minutes, but also to engage families in the two-way communication that we want so much. We do this by embedding a Twitter feed on the front page which shows tweets from throughout the school day, and adding forms, such as the eBucket Filler, for families to fill out when a student has done something worthy of recognition (even when not in school).
4. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why I use wikis!”
There is no one “Aha” moment, but knowing that we conveniently have one place where families can find everything – links to our social media feeds, videos and pictures shared from the school day and events, postings of school policies and event flyers, an easy to complete form to commend a student’s good deed or act – all right from the wiki, is priceless.
5. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you?
Knapp values the importance of families having the knowledge about what their students are doing and can be doing at school, believes in providing the resources for all students to be their best, and encourages all families to be actively involved in their student’s education.