PNAIS TechShare 2012

I. Wikis in Plain English

By Commoncraft (3:53)

What is a wiki?
By PBWiki (1:49)
Teachers talk openly about wikis as a portal for learning.

II. Wikis in the Classroom

Leverage Wikis for Project-Based Learning:


Project-Based Learning Explained (3:50)
By Commoncraft
"The Buck Institute for Education commissioned the cutting-edge advertising agency, Common Craft, to create a short animated video that explains in clear language the essential elements of Project Based Learning (PBL)."

An Introduction to Project-Based Learning (3:34)
by Edutopia

PBL Resources:


Edutopia's Resources on Project-Based Learning

How Project-based Learning Changed Lives (4:00)
"High school students reflect on their experience of project-based learning and describe how they not only learned a great deal of content, but also practiced the 21st century skills needed for personal and workplace success."

III. Classroom Examples of Wikis

Best Educational Wikis of 2011
Sponsored by Wikispaces, a listing of their votes for the top educational wikis of 2011

Best Education Use of a Wiki, Edublogs Awards 2011
Check out the 2011 nominees! They are outstanding!

Flat Classroom Project (This project can be applied to virtually and grade!)
Inspired by Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat, "the concept of a 'flat classroom' is based on the constructivist principle of a multi-modal learning environment that is student-centered and a level playing field for teacher to student and student to teacher interaction." Vicki Davis from Westwood Schools of the State of Georgia and Julie Lindsay from the Beijing International School, China, started this global project--literally the 4 walls of the classroom are expanded to include learning partners from around the world. Flat classroom projects use a learning platform that provides transparency, sharing, and collaboration, such as a blog, a wiki, or a Ning.


Schools in the Past --This wiki is a collection of interviews of grandparents to learn about school in the past.

The Second Grade Space -This is a wikispace dedicated to collaborating and learning within the same school, all 2nd graders. Check out the Penguin Projects.


Go West
Grade 3 study of Westward Expansion along the Oregon trail, created by Atlanta's Woodward Academy


My Side of the Mountain
This is a novel unit experience through a class wiki. Students created the study guide themselves as they experienced the reading and study. Listen to the Interview With Dad.

Code Blue
6th grade students learn all about their bodies, take on the role of doctor (with some rather interesting bios), and tell about their understandings of the different systems of the human body.

Virtual Periodic Table
This periodic table models collaborative learning at its best. No wonder it was nominated as a "best wiki."

MathCasts--How Tos
These Voicethread projects showcase "how tos" from middle school students who have mastered different math concepts. Students from The Crefeld School in Philadelphia, PA posted this project-based learning assignment. This is the students interpretation of the Khan Academy!

The Pineapple
This is Noah Mendel's 6th grade tech class online newspaper at Portland Jewish Academy

A writing-based wiki with contributions by 7th graders: Try the Humanities 6 Student Gallery, the Ode Gallery and The Giver movie trailers centered around theme in a work of literature.

Virtual Reference
This wiki was created at a grassroots level, where teachers and students (grades 7-12) from The Crefeld School in Philadelphia, PA, made contributions along the way. Check out the Math How To library to see a wonderful example of students teaching about math concepts they have mastered.

High School

Dr. Theodore Baehr and Euthanasia
A high school project where students respond to Theodore Baehr's response to the film Million Dollar Baby. Baehr is the founder and publisher of Movieguide. Baehr compares the film to the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. The students composed persuasive pieces and sound files to make their arguments heard.

Climate Change Debate
A high school wiki that debates reasons for global climate change. The project is research-based, requires the collection of data, and an actio plan. The wiki serves as a discussion and debate forum, as well as a transparent learning space. Take a look at Team 3's efforts.

Math 12V Outcomes Portfolio
This space is created by a class of 12th grade math students. They created an online review of their math curriculum. This space is text-heavy with lots of directions.

Welker's Wikinomics
This AP Economics course uses a wetpaint wiki to deliver course content and to discuss the intricacies of economics in general. Take a look at the rich discussion board.

IV. Wikis at Portland Jewish Academy

This K-8 professional space invites the faculty to participate as much or as little as they would like. There are training resources and information related to 3 initiatives in the school this year, blogs, wikis, and establishing a web presence on the school web site tool, FinalSite. There is also a space where teachers are invited to post their favorite web-based tools for the classroom. This is the 1st year using the wiki, and it is taking time to "catch on" with the faculty.

8th Grade Capstone Wiki
8th graders participate in a Capstone project, where they engage in hands-on community service and write a research paper related to their work.

PJA Middle School Tech Class
Students in grades 6 learn about digital citizenship and media literacy through this quarter-long course.

PJA Middle School Online Newspaper: The Pineapple
Students determine the stories and content for this student-led, student-created online newspaper.

Elana Cohn-Rozansky’s Grade 6 Wiki:
Elana uses the 6th grade wiki as a space where students can access daily happenings in class, homework assignments and publish their work. Elana experiments with a variety of digital tools for project-based learning, such as Pixton comic strips and Blabberize for “talking primates”, which can all be found in her Student Gallery.

Grade 5, Harriet Wingard’s Class Wiki
This wiki is in its beginning stages, as the teacher is starting out using the tool as a learning resource for her students, as well as a student work gallery. Ms. Wingard has plans to use the space collaboratively in the spring as they study the cycle of the moon. Harriet shares the space with the 5th grade Jewish Studies and Hebrew teacher, Bat-Ami Frankel. Bat-Ami posts resources related to life cycle studies, as well as videos related to Torah studies.

Jim Juntunen’s Class Wiki, Grade 4
JIm is using the 4th grade wiki as a space for students to access research and learning links, as well as a bridge to home from school. With the ability to sign up students without sharing information or having an email address, Jim plans on using the space more collaboratively in the future.

V. Additional Technology Project-Based Learning Examples at PJA

VoiceThread: 2nd Graders used VoiceThread to create a holiday counting book. VoiceThread is a web-based tool that allows users to upload images and comment on each image. Because the tools is social, more than one user can comment on each image or slide with a unique identity or avatar. Take a look at the 2nd Graders' counting book:

Windows PhotoStory 3: Students in Grade 5 used Windows Photostory 3 to create Hebrew digital stories based on their own working vocabulary and 1 to several Creative Commons photos from Flickr. The teachers used Zamzar to convert the movies into universal mpeg videos for posting on her class wiki. Windows PhotoStory 3 is a program free for all Windows users, but it is only available for XP (not Windows 7). Take a look at these digital stories by visiting my blog, Techbabble, and scroll down to the middle of the page to 5th Grade Hebrew Photostories.

VI. Create Your Own Learning Platform

Essential Questions:

  • How can we construct and put into practice a collaborative student learning platform using the tool Wikispaces?

  • How can we construct and put into practice a professional community of practice using Wikispaces as our learning platform?

VII. Wiki Resources

Wikispaces is very supportive of educators. They upgrade wikispaces accounts to add-free spaces, as long as the space is truly being used for K-12 education.

Wikispaces Projects
This is the help page provided by Wikispaces to show you how to use the "projects" feature. You can create project groups with specific team members on your Wikispace for collaboration. Project teams can have private space on the wiki with unique editing rights. As the admin of the site, you can control the permissions within the project groups, deciding if the project pages are public, private to wiki members, or private to team members. As the organizer of the wiki, you are automatically the team leader for each group and have full access to all the pages of each team. Watch a short video to see how easily this can work!

User Creator
This is the tool in your "manage wiki" link (main navigation on your homepage) that allows you to apply a batch membership to up to 100 members, This means that individual students do not have to sign up for your space--thank goodness! Instead, now you can assign user names and passwords for a whole class of students at once (ahead of the class meeting time), and students do not even need an email address. How awesome is that?! The on-screen directions walk you through the whole process. Go for it!
>Sign in to your wiki
>Click on USER CREATOR (under the PEOPLE section)

Free wiki software that follows the same format as Wikipedia . You need to be more tech-savvy to go this route.

Best Practices for Your Classroom Wiki
Brought to you by PBWiki, a listing of resources related to implementing a wiki in your classroom, including digital citizenship, security, when to use a wiki, and school implementation.

Everything Wiki
A great resource to learn about tools, tricks, and resources related to building your wiki.

Best Educational Wikis of 2011 From Wikispaces
Sponsored by Wikispaces, this is a listing of their votes for the top educational wikis of 2011.

Best Educational Wikis of 2010 From Wikispaces
Take a look at these 2010 award-winners!