Setting up and Introducing a Collaborative Student Math Wiki

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about my  Thoughts on Setting up a Student Created Wiki.

I chose to use wikispaces education wiki as the platform of the Math wiki. The set up of student accounts was very easy and fast, no email was required for the students.

mjgds-math - home

I also pre-created a page for each middle school subject (6th grade math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra & Geometry) as well as a Wiki Help and a Wiki Netiquette page.

Here is the sequence I used to introduce the concept of  wikis to the Middle School students.

Show “Wikis in Plain English” Video

Introduce wikispaces site

  • pass out usernames/passwords
  • sign in

How to edit and format the wiki:

  • Enter text
  • Making Links and creating new pages
  • Inserting images
  • Widgets
  • Making changes
  • Saving your work

Added a ClustrMap
(the wiki will be private in the beginning until everyone gets comfortable. I plan to make it viewable to the public in a few weeks)

Discussion Area

  • What do we use the discussion area for?
  • Netiquette for discussion area

Wiki Netiquette-
I started out with an outline starter, encouraging students to complete, edit, move, change what they wanted to the wikiquette to look like.

Wikiquette= Wiki Netiquette
A Netiquette is a guideline how to behave and work with others on the internet.
A Wikiquette is a netiquette on a Wiki.

What is NOT permitted on our Wiki
The Math Wiki is an online extension of our school. The same conduct, values and rules of our MJGDS community apply. The wiki is WHAT YOU MAKE of it!
Contribute, Collaborate, Communicate, Care, Create, Celebrate

Wiki Help Section

Created step by step instructions with screenshots as reminders how to edit and format wiki (see #3 above)

Content: What are we creating?

  • Definitions
  • Formulas
  • Audio & Video Explanations
  • Tutorials for peers

Content: How are we connecting knowledge?

  • To create new knowledge and understanding
  • To create new perspectives
  • To point out obvious and not so obvious links between knowledge
  • To make sense of the information

Content: How do we organize content?
There is a need to learn how to organize, file, archive and later on retrieve a vast amount of information
Organize the information in a MEANINGFUL way

In math it is often hard to use the keyboard to write formulas, exponents, angles, etc.. I showed students how to use the SmartBoad Notebook software on the computers in the lab to record screencast videos or take screenshots with Skitch (buy can also be done with the SmartBoard software).

In the next few weeks, I will also let them use Garageband to create audio files for tutorials/explanations. Stay tuned for the next installment in the series of blog posts regarding  a “Student created Math Wiki”.

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