1-Task 2: Education Question Assignment

**So here's the thing:

What educational Wiki format is the best for elementary and especially middle school students ? i.e. it's the simplest for teachers to set up and manage, it's easy for students to use and it makes it easy to run a discussion forum and deliver information.**

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mrmuzzdogmrmuzzdog

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Rod-

I am still new to the Wiki pages and am trying to figure it all out. Since I work with 8th grade and below, I don't like sites that require a student's email address to log in, confirm, whatever. So that eliminates quite a few right off the bat! During a previous Wilkes class I was introduced to Edmodo and tried it this spring with a group of 6th graders. It is not a "wiki" but worked for our purpose. Not really a good answer for you but the site does offer the privacy and ease of use. I am still exploring others. There are just so many to look at!

Mary


Howdy!
I also do not have much experience with wikis but during my Project Based Learning class I had to use WikiSpaces and I really liked it. It was easy to set up, it looks nice, and it was super easy to set up several discussion forums. We were able to add tons of links ( to our mindomo, glogster, and more) and embed cool things into the pages. I intend to use this more with my kids (I am elementary up to 6th) because it is easy to make it visually appealing - a must for younger students. It is very interactive, I felt anyway. Hope this helps - good luck, Mr MuzzDog! - D
BTW - I love your username - where did you get the idea from?


In answer to your username question, it's the nickname my students in Australia gave me. Everyone is Oz has a shortened name and Muzza is short for Murray. They added the "dog" part, and I insisted on the Mr. ;-)
Rod

mrmuzzdogmrmuzzdog


Hello!

I've used Wikispaces a lot in class and the students catch on pretty quickly. You do need email addresses to sign up but you can get around it by making classroom accounts (make an email address for your class) and just asking your students to sign everything that they do so you know who did what. I teach high school so the email thing has been a non-issue for me. I also have a great number of adult students without computer experience and they can manage wikispaces so it must be easy! If you just want to deliver info and have a discussion forum a website would work too, Weebly (it's free) is one that I have used with my students. You can manage the site and create discussion forums for the students to respond too.

Hope this is useful!
Megaen


Hi!
I haven't had too much experience but just recently took project based learning (I think someone else mentioned the same thing) and I used wikispaces. I thought it was user friendly and easy to set up. We had to use ours for a group project and all group members had no problems contributing. It was actually what I was planning on incorporating this upcoming school year.
-Tricia


Hi Rod,
I was just reflecting about the use of Wikidot versus Wikispaces. The first experience I had with wikis was through pbwiki. I didn't really like this program, although it could have been because it was my first experience with a wiki. I have primarily used Wikispaces for my classes and through the PBL course, we were required to create a wiki through Wikispaces. I have found wikispaces to be easy to use and I love the Discussion thread component. Anyone can add discussion topics, which have been great in developing higher order thinking skills. Students do not need to have email addresses. As the manager, you can submit user names to generate accounts for each student. Added a bit more time but I could have final say in what user names they created. The biggest downfall that I have found is that editing component. Editing can be easy but sometimes it doesn't really want to do what you intend for it to do! It also does not create a "lock" as wikidot does. This "lock" feature is nice when classmates are working on one wiki- a few times I had to rescue pages and input from our wikispace pages when multiple students were logged in and editing the page!

This is my first experience with the wikidot pages. It seems a bit more advanced for users though. Like I said before, I do like the page lock but other than that, I'm not quite sure exactly how I feel about it. I like the password access- that can be extremely nice in not requiring email addresses.

So i just realized you asked more about elementary and middle school so now I don't know if my input helps or not! I teach 9th graders (although sometimes I think they should go back to elementary school!) Hope this helps!

Janell


Rod~

I agree, Wikispaces seems to be the easiest, in my limited experience! This is my first time using Wikidot… the only thing I noticed about it is that there is a link under Site Manager - Public or Private that allows educators to apply to have a private site for more than 5 members (so you can do a whole class of members).

~Cristina


Hi Rod,
I became very familiar with Wikispaces during my last class, Project Based Learning. I highly recommend it. I set up a wikispace for my class to use during our Force and Motion Unit. Each class had their own page where they responded to questions, discussed issued with projects and collaborated with the others in their group. This was my first experience using wikis, but it was great and the kids really got into the collaboration part on the discussion threads.
Kate


Good question, Mr. Muzzdog, and I would have to say: not wikidot. I'm not thrilled with the constant reminder that I can update to Pro for $24.95. I also use Wikispaces. Educator accounts are free and it's much easier to manoever your way around. This site may offer more options and look more like a web page, but Wikispaces lets me make something the kids (and I) can use quickly and easily, and educator accounts are free. My colleagues at school would not have the patience to figure all this out. If it weren't the tool of choice for this course, I would not be sticking with wikidot.

@Mary — There is a way to set up your own gmail account to avoid the problem of having kids register. Also EPals offers secure student emails. I'll look back in my stuff and see if I can find the informatin for you in the next couple of weeks.
~Sue


Wow! I am so excited that I was actually able to edit and join! I would have to say that Wikidot is now my least favorite wiki ever. I am very frustrated by it, and it doesn't seem very user friendly. Many of the links give error messages. I hate to be repetitive, but wikispaces was very simple to use. I also like using Google docs to communicate and share ideas. It is very simple, which translates to me something that I can use in my classroom.

~Breanne


Breanne- I share your sentiments about Wkidot! Maybe there is an intent for us to fumble around with a less intuitive wiki so that when we try the others we'll all be tech-whizzes!

Rod

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