I must have a case of Spring Fever because I am doing crazy things. The first week of the last nine weeks I decided to start using a Wiki, http://littlebeavertech.pbwiki.com. My friend, Joselyn Todd, taught me so much about them (here and here), but I have been reticent to try them in the classroom. For all my experimenting with new technology, I am not much of a risk-taker when I am in front of kids. I want to be confident about what is going to happen. And Wikis seemed a little risky.
They REALLY are easy and pretty safe. I set up one page in under 30 minutes and it was a great help with my classes. So far they have just been using it like a home page to access Web sites I have chosen for them.
Now I am going to try letting students edit the Wiki. My third grade classes have been studying Internet research techniques. I talked to them at length about Wikipedia and how you can edit it. I even got myself banned from making Wikipedia changes for demonstrating one too many times how easy it is to change things on a Wikipedia page! (I didn't know that could happen, but it was a great teachable moment.) However, I decided that to really understand Wikipedia and Wikis, my students needed to get their feet wet editing.
So stay tuned! If I actually pull this off in the last four weeks of school (really I think I'm nuts!) I will share their Wiki page.