Home > Group B Workspace > Learning Activity 7-C-2

Scenario: B Middle School Wiki

You have several seventh grade science classes collaborating on wikis. Students are divided into groups and are collecting information on each of the kingdoms of living organisms. The wikis are used to present the information, including some slide presentations and graphics your students have created.
Your Monera kingdom group has been doing extremely creative work and has created an impressive presentation on bacteria. The group has received a request by a teacher to use some of their graphics on bacteria cell structure for a project at a school in a nearby state. The students who created the work would get credit for their contribution, and the request is for two graphics out of over a dozen in the presentation.
How do you advise your students?
  • I think this can be motivating to the other groups that may not be doing as good of work. The teacher can showcase the students' work by projecting or directing students to the group's wiki. After doing so, the teacher can go through and point out to students the exemplary points of the wiki. Furthermore, it may be conducive to the class if the students explained how they got there and what they did.
    • Class, if you look here at X and here at Y, you will see what a wonderful example of bacteria. Additionally, the group has been contacted from a prominent professor to showcase some of their work. Because the internet is open to everyone, a search indicated this group's wiki and it was there they found such enriching information on the topic. "Joe and Sally, do you have anything you would like to explain to the class within your work that led you to present this?"

  • It should be publicized to the student's parents, administration, other science teachers, and other students how they have contributed to the global online community. Just as the students research and document their findings giving credit, this is the same thing except now they are the "published" ones.
    • "I am very proud of your efforts in collecting data for our project. I don't know if you realize what this teacher is asking. It is quite an honor to be asked to use your findings in an actual classroom somewhere else in the United States. The information you gathered will be used not only as a learning tool for our classroom, but will be used for years to come at another school for a similar project. The learning does not end with you. That is the beauty of technology today. The information is only ours for a short while. You do not know the long term ramifications of what you post on the Internet. Few of us do. We are a global learning community on the Internet. We share and use new information for the benefit of our and other's knowledge. Keep in mind you too may find what other students or class posts in the future to be worthwhile for your knowledge and understanding of a concept. If you feel this is cheating, I would like you to think again. We are a learning community. What you find/learn/know will help another person find/learn/know/grow to become a more educated learner. We learn from each other not only in the classroom but around the world. Consider that no matter what you post. Also remember this type of learning is a privilege and should not be abused. Each time you search on the Internet you are actively becoming a part of our global learning community. Question, analyze, critique what you find! Your learning and overall understanding of the world depends on it!"

  • The teacher can upload a link to the specific project on his or her web page. Even more, they can write a short synopsis of the assignment and what was expected.
    • "Students, keep in mind that your synopsis will not only be read by me, your teacher, and fellow classmates, but other learners and educators will want to learn more about the assignment. Be very clear with your direction and how you felt you need to accomplish the task."

  • Even more, with the online wiki, the teacher should be keeping a page in which he or she highlights the groups' achievements. the teacher can then transfer those to a newsletter so that others within the school community are able to view those. The newsletter should be accessed online or in hard copy form.

The overall growth the students have to gain from this experience is immeasurable, realistic, and reasonable. This type of learning can be reproduced or emulated in the classroom (no matter how hard we try as educators). These students have the ability to not only learn but educate the future with their knowledge. These learning situations need to be capitalized on today in this technological, information age we call the 21st century.