Featured Wiki: Homewood Flossmoor High School Economics

May16_econwiki2Nick Anello, a high school economics teacher, talks about how his department uses Wikispaces to house economics videos for students and share their pedagogical approach with other economics teachers.

1. Please describe your school, your wikis, and what you use them for.
I teach at Homewood Flossmoor High School, a public high school in Chicago’s south suburbs. I have two wikis that I’ve created with my colleagues. One is for other teachers of economics. We house our pedagogical ideas and content standards for other teachers to review and use.

My other wiki is where we’ve created our AP and IB economics video curriculum online for any student to view. We use this wiki to help students who have been absent or need to review for tests, quizzes and end of the year exams. People around the world have viewed our wiki. This year has seen a large following from Belarus!

2. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why we use wikis!” 
As part of an assignment for a computer course in my Master’s program, I built a wiki. At the same time, my department was creating videos about the hardest topics in economics for our students. I’m the tech guy for our econ professional learning community and suggested we start housing the videos in a central location. After researching other sites, Wikispaces was the best combination of simplicity and functionality. So, we started using Wikispaces and have never looked back.

3. What advice do you have for schools and districts that would like to use wikis?
There are a lot of ways to use wikis. The advice I would give to schools is to find out what works best for your class.

4. What do you plan to do next with your wiki?
We’re still working to publish more and more content on the site. We eventually plan to input calculators and other widgets into the site once we have 100% content video coverage.

5. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you and your school?
My wiki would say “you guys definitely realize the Marginal Benefit of using Wikispaces exceeds the Marginal Cost of the time it takes to create me. Thank you!”


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