Last December I started a classroom wiki. I kept it private and controlled and asked parents to request memberships to join as a viewer only. For me this worked well because I needed to feel in control and comfortable with the tool as a part of my Inspired Classroom model. Students responded very well but parents never really got it. Some joined others just let well enough alone.
This year I started a new wiki right away and got all the students on board within a week. It is open for public so parents can get to it easily without barriers. Students are the only ones with access as members and writers. They can create pages, add comments, pictures and have their own folders.
It’s been 6 weeks since we started school and my students seem to think the wiki is a great way to text! I have reviewed making comments, appropriate use and so on but they really want to text. Is it possible that in a year the students are so much more aware of social networking, texting on phones and twitter from their parents and TV that they expect to be able to text?
I am fascinated by their desire to communicate synchronously. Still, I need to develop writers who can communicate whole thoughts and express their ideas and opinions with support. Will the wiki really succeed in addressing helping students reach their writing objectives? I guess that’s up to me!
Update! They made some great comments today about our black widow spider.