Wikis in my English classroom

1. For information

2. For publication

All of my students recently wrote papers, and we shared them on my wiki. I gave students time to comment on each others' writing during class on the discussion boards. This year I invited juniors to comment on the sophomores' poems. They enjoyed seeing what the underclassmen did after having studied British literature themselves. I also posted the link to the pages in the weekly newsletter that goes home to parents.
  • Sophomoreswrite in the style of the Anglo Saxon poet, and record themselves reading their poems too.
  • Juniorswrite in the style of the Puritans. I used the work done by their predecessorsto help them envision the assignment. This helped them produce even better papers than the previous year's class.

3. For collaboration

Students are introduced to a variety of online technologies in their sophomore year, including blogs, Google docs, and my classroom wiki as a source of information and supplemental resources. They learn the distinctive features of various online tools as well as the benefits of using these tools for themselves in their own learning.

At the beginning of the junior year, students working collaboratively in small groups as they studied a contemporary American novel.
Student Feedback:

Students find value in using wikis to collaborate. In the next unit on Puritanism, the majority of students chose to collaborate their notes on a wiki as opposed to a Word doc, a Google doc, or Inspiration map.
These are the wikis that they made independently of teacher instruction:
And their reasons for choosing wikis:
  • "we thought it would be the easiest for both of us to work on although we ended up doing most of it together, and also, we were better able to share with others (its also more appealing to the eye)"
  • "I chose a wiki because it was easy to both be able to contribute to, and in the end, we were able to send the link to our wiki to the class so that they can use it as a reference before the quiz."

  • "I chose to use a wiki, mostly so that we would be able to work on it at home, and not have to worry about saving changes and emailing a document back and forth 50 times."