Julie Ramsay started the Ramsay’s Class Innovation Day wiki in January of 2012.
1. Briefly describe your group, your wiki, and what you use it to do:
This Wikispace was created by my class of fifth grade students at Fultondale Elementary School in Fultondale, Alabama. My students celebrate an Innovation Day each year. This is a day where students are 100% in control of their learning. Each student gets to pick a topic of interest to explore on this designated day. When that day arrives, they explore the topic in the manner that they learn best, become an expert, and then synthesize their newfound knowledge into a project that they use to teach their peers about their topic. This day is completely in their control. On the photos page of the Wikispaces, you can see their progress throughout the day. Also, any of the projects that were digital are published here and here.
The creation of this page came about as a result of our class connections on Twitter (@RamsaysClass). My students were doing a countdown until our Innovation Day. Another class sent us a tweet asking us to explain Innovation Day. As a class, we discussed how to best explain it. One student expressed that it was impossible to express something so incredible in only 140 characters. That’s when they suggested we publish it as a webpage. Wikispaces was a perfect fit for this project.
On their Innovation Day Wikispace, the students also included different projects that we did as preparation for Innovation Day. As a class, we read Mistakes that Worked and the students wrote book reviews. They were also intrigued by the idea of innovators and designed a project to each learn about an innovator that interested them; they created faKebook pages of each of them. You will also see testimonials of the students’ thoughts about Innovation Day which were created at the end of the day.
Wikispaces was the perfect vehicle for my students to convey, share, and discuss their work with their global peers.
2. Besides the Edit button, which wiki feature is your favorite?
In addition to the easily used “edit” button, my students and I really like the ability to embed projects from other sites such a Voki, Prezi, ProProfs, and Animoto. In addition to embedding their projects, we also enjoy being able to easily upload audio, video, URLs, images, and PowerPoints. The flexibility that Wikispaces offers makes it one of our favorite tools to communicate and collaborate with our global audience.
3. What is one way you’re using wikis and other web 2.0 tools in your projects?
We use Wikispaces for many different aspects of our class learning environment. From posting class updates, to housing links to resources for lessons, to creating our own science “textbook,” Wikispaces always helps me meet the diverse learning needs of my students. One tool does not fit all. Wikispaces provides me and my learners the ability to publish all our voices regardless of which tool we use to create.
4. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why I use wikis!”
I have been using Wikispaces with students for about five years now. It was the first collaboration Web 2.0 tool that I embraced. My students were doing a writing roulette with a class in Arizona. When my students saw how the other students were able to sign in and add to our story, their excitement shot off the charts. They were thrilled that others were not only reading and commenting upon their story, but also improving and helping them grow. That’s when I knew that Wikispaces would have a long term place within our class.
5. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you?
“These fifth graders are awesome and I’m helping them share their learning with the world!”