Posted by: Kris Woods | January 12, 2008

Wikis and Blogs: Reflections on MediA 21 @ TMS

Today two teachers and I discussed some upcoming projects.  In one class, we are collaborating on a research project using a wiki.  The basis of the collaboration is for the students to work together on entries in a “Teasleypedia” wiki to write to a wider audience.  I recently discovered the video, “42” by Barry Bachenheimer.  The premise of the video is that during thirteen years of education, students write for 42 people: their teachers.  Students will participate in an inquiry-based exploration of the the Civil War creating entries on topics from the war.  We are beginning to design the unit; however, the gist of the project is the students will use a research template on a wiki to record their sources, notes, research process, and writing. We will create an encyclopedia with the entries.  Once students write the draft for their entry on the wiki, we will then open the wiki for collaborative, peer editing.  Students will work in groups to edit each other’s entries online working on specific, grammatical constructions for each student.  Students will be responsible for leaving feedback to each other in the discussion section of the wiki ( I made this change because…).  After the peer collaboration, each student will then compare their original version of the entry with the collaboratively edited entry and reflect on the differences and what the student learned from the experience.  Since the wiki is online, the students will not be writing solely for their teacher.  They will be writing for each other and for anyone else who discovers the wiki.  I cannot wait to get started on this piece!

The other teacher and I are collaborating on two blogs for novel studies.  One blog is for Basher-52.  The other is for Crossing the Wire. I have only just begun building the blogs and we still need to take some time to plan.  I have begun incorporporating RSS feeds from my account to create a pathfinder within the blogs for resources the students will use during the novel study.



  1. Hi Kristine!

    When you do novel blogs with the teachers, do you maintain that blog for them, or does the teacher? Do you help develop blog topics?

    We have been showing our teachers how to set up their own blogs and have been their “training wheels” for the first few days, but they have taken off on their own once they got their bearings. I would love to help develop blog posts for literature studies for other high school English teachers, especially since I have used the blogs with my 10th and 11th students.

    I am going to look at that 42 video tomorrow. The Teasleypedia project also sounds cool. Maybe next year I could do something like that if our freshmen academy project is approved!

  2. I have been developing the blogs for the teachers as well as moderating the comments. I am using many of the same techniques on the blogs that I use on pathfinders so that the blog is not only a writing venue, but an information source concerning the novels as well.

    I help them develop blog topics and also post what they choose to have students respond to. We are still getting our feet wet on this so they have not chosen to set up their own blogs yet.

    I am hoping to offer staff development for my faculty in the near future on how to maintain a blog.

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