Hello everyone,

I chose to look at the Wiki projects that dealt with the elementary students, because that is the grades I would like to teach.

Go West is the first wiki project I looked at. It is a third grade study of Westward expansion. Each student has their own page that they work on. They’ve provided pictures, their own artwork, graphs, power points, and text. The organization was very neat, I could follow along very easily. They’ve provided links for the pictures they have used. They have a lot of information on the Oregon trails, for example chores they did, supplies and necessities pioneers needed. They have “fun stuff” like games and puzzles. One page is for recipes that pioneers would eat.
The site is very organized. It’s a collaborative project, informing others about the Oregon Trail, and it’s a good reference page for students. One thing I would do different, is have an equal amount of visual and text. On some of the pages it either needs more graphics or more text explaining the graphs in their own words. Other than that, I like this wiki page.

Kindergarten Counting Book is the second wiki project I looked at. On the page they had digital pictures, each picture has items to match the number.
The numbers go up to 100. The layout is very simple, it has the title, and then the number and picture. There are a lot of adds, and I’m not sure if that is something that could be fixed, but I did notice some of the other projects I looks at did not have as many. Some of the pictures have the number included in the picture. It is good for students to see the visualization with the numbers. The layout is very simple, what I would do is add color to the background. Make sure the pictures lay good with the text. It’s not clear if the students are uploading their own pictures, or if the teacher is uploading it for them. I know some of them have “By….” But the teacher could have added that. Also the page isn’t done, some of the numbers do not have pictures with them.

Schools in the past, is the third wiki project I looked at. This wiki page is compiling all the answers students received into one page. Students asked parents and grandparents what was school like in the past. For example, what was studied, number of students in class, was there anything different? etc. There was one visual for the entire page. I would add more visuals, pictures that relates to the questions, something to make it more visual pleasing. On the site, the teacher tells viewers if they went to school in the ‘past’ then they are free to add their post. Well as I was scrolling down, at the end this sixth grader posted this “Alexis Wilson (who is dead now) says: fuck u.” This is one problem when you open the wiki up for public. I’m not sure if the teacher is checking the site regularly. I would not have it for the public, I would keep it for students, a reference they could go back to and see the differences of school now and the past.

Thousands Project, is the fourth wiki project I looked at. This page is for a particular fifth grade class. Their goal is to get at least one thousand answers for each month of the school year. Their page is open for everyone to answer, and they “Use this wiki to share our thoughts, get ideas for writing, learn geography from around the world, collaborate with others and read the thoughts of others.” The question for this month is “what are some of the things you are going to do over the summer months.” As I was going through the different months, I noticed they started off good, people were writing in, and they were hitting their goal. But as the month progress, mostly afterward February, they have not hit their goal with these questions. I’m not sure why, the questions are pretty easy, the questions have to do with students experiences, likes, etc. The page is very easy to navigate, each month has it’s own page, so the site looks clean. It’s a very simple layout. What I would do different is, I would make it more visual pleasing. The page is white, there are a few clip arts, and so it’s boring.

I do think that using Wiki pages has its benefits, but it also has some negatives I’m still on the fence about using wiki pages. If I were to use wiki pages, I don’t think I would ever have it open tot the public, I want to keep my students safe. I would more apt to use wiki pages for professional or personal use, I wouldn’t have to worry about students getting bullied, or someone writing in with harmful words. I can handle criticisms, where some students might not be able to handle it. I’m curious to learn how to be able to use wiki pages effectively, and safely.