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Collaboration Connectivism Course 1

Creating a Wikipedia to share our knowledge

Using technology for teaching has always been a goal for me. First it’s my personal passion since I can think of and second it is, it will be the future of the children I teach. Last but not least it is motivating for the children and gives them the chance to be an independent and creative learner.

It’s the second time my students of Grade 4 create a Wikipedia about a brain. As a German language teacher the focus last year was writing, only writing. It was less about being connected, creating and sharing knowledge and learning from other. That is probably part of the Coetail Effect. Thanks to everybody, it’s so important. My mind works already differently. As you can see in my planner, of course it is still about language. Most of the students in class are native German speakers and the few Germans as an Additional language speakers could get differentiated support to improve their written language skills.
To support the students I produced for the first time some instructional videos in advance. I wanted them to use the help instead of asking me constantly. As differentiation few students got the chance to produce an additional video by themselves. It was a great possibility to create and contribute something for the help section.

The post of Beth Queeney Dressler: Tapping into Collaboration made me think about using the Wikipedia in class. She questioned whether it is doing old things in a new way.

I didn’t write a single post. The students chose a topic to read about the human brain, showed their understanding by filling out a attached sheet and created then a post for the wiki. I also asked them to comment on each others posts and reflected about what is a appropriate comment.
But I agree – what will be the follow up? Will the wiki die now? For me it would be already a lot if they understand the purpose of a wikipedia. And who knows, maybe one day, sooner or later somebody will be an editor on one of the countless wikis that exist online. Or they will start commenting on each others blog (portfolios). It is/was about getting them aware …
Here now my planner:

4 replies on “Creating a Wikipedia to share our knowledge”

A wiki is a great place for them to be using language meaningfully and that’s important, especially for second language learners. They’ll put more effort in because they have a real audience.

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Hi Verena,
I agree with you…an important aspect is that the students understand the power of a wiki. Like you said, they may write one or edit one in the future. As primary school teachers, it’s important to remember that our students have a lot of experiences ahead of them. We’re laying the foundation. I know I need to remember this-sometimes we’re too hard on ourselves. Keep us posted and let us know how the wiki evolves over time.
Beth

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Hi Verena,
Your lesson plan looks interesting and exciting for the children. Are you a class teacher but in a German speaking school or are you teaching German as a second language? I teach Spanish to primary school children and the sort of things we are learning about are family and school subjects etc.
Keep us posted on how the wiki goes because I would like to attempt it at one point.
Esther

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Hi Esther,
I’m a PYP (German Language) teacher at an international school in Munich/Germany. We have three levels – German, German as an Additional Language I and II.
Last year I initiated this Wiki only for one unit. This year I really want to keep using it somehow at least until the end of the school year. I need to change it a little bit but ideas will come. Unfortunately the wiki is behind a firewall …
Have a great start to the new week! V.

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