Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wikispaces and Student Collaboration

Collaborating with his fellow classmates by means of Wikispaces is my son’s latest assignment at school. He is a middle school student enrolled in Ms. C’s 8th grade Language Arts class. As a part of the assignment, Ms. C has the students reading books in small groups and then responding with each other via their group’s wikispaces page. My son seems to get it. “It”- being the transition to the web 2.0 tools as a means to learning. He has even created himself an avatar using http://www.meez.com/ He was able to upload his avatar into the wikispace and now sees it next to each of his responses. He reads his book diligently and checks nightly to see if anyone has posted new questions. He also reads the responses that others have written to his questions. When it comes to his password, well, he can’t share it with me. That’s great and he understands even the importance of having his personal username and password.

If teachers are wondering if students will respond to learning how to use this web 2.0 tool in the classroom, my son is a true testament to the fact that digital natives are able to maneuver the learning experience without much assistance. Nonetheless, it is teachers like Ms. C, who are also taking on the challenge and helping develop 21st century learners. For more information on how you can use wikispaces in your classroom, visit the wikispaces website at http://www.wikispaces.com/. Additionally, you may want to talk with your technology facilitator about offering a wiki workshop at your school.

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