More on Contributing

My students have finished their second wiki assignment.

They had to write application letters -something I hate teaching, and students hate writing. They are 16 and 17 years old, all of them university bound, and consequently applying for a job is not among their needs. I asked them to move to the future (not all them have tagged their pages), imagine themselves in 2014 and search for a job that person they imagined they were would be qualified for.

It’s difficult for teenagers to know what they would like to do the rest of their lives. It was difficult for my students to imagine themselves in the future, this is the reason why some enjoyed doing the exercise and others didn’t like it. I loved what they wrote, I had fun reading about their lives in 2014 (I still don’t know why I chose that year). However, it was a bit worring to see that most of them were living in Europe, as if there were no chances for their professional development here (perhaps I should erase the “as if).

Enough. Let’s concentrate on my job.

They had to collaborate correcting language mistakes, writing suggestions in the discussion pages. This didn’t result in good quality writings, I think they didn’t take this task seriously. It was just an experiment and I have to admit that our common errors collection (don’t follow this link) grew up more than expected. When they had finished I copied the mistakes and they corrected them in class. They were able to correct most of them. So why didn’t they see them before? All of them visited their classmates pages, wrote something about language mistakes; they participated, but didn’t contribute.

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9 Comments to “More on Contributing”

  1. Using a wiki to write and edit is an excellent idea. From your posting, I noted that the students wrote and did some editing. IMHO;D You should be very proud of your first effort with your students. In the beginning, participation is a plus. Some teachers try such an activity, and not all the students even participate.

    You have analyzed your project startup and the student’s ability to edit each others language and discovered that they can make the language corrections as a group. Using the wiki to survey the mistakes from their writing is probably the most powerful use of the wiki itself. By using a wiki, you have a history of changes and you can get an idea of their level of competence and participation. That was a great idea;D

    When starting new projects, it is not unusual for students to “appear” to have lost some of their skills. IMHO, the skills are not lost, but need to be “reorganized” within the new format, por ejemplo, the wiki. They will improve each time you do this project, and I think within a few practices, you will be very happy with your students’ progress.

    I am very impressed with your project, and I will share it with my colleagues;D

  2. “the skills are not lost, but need to be “reorganized” within the new format,”
    I hadn’t thought about this, Sheryl. Come to think of it, I myself have experienced this, I’ve had to reorganized my skills. Thanks for putting this into words.

  3. Gabriela,
    I think your students did a great job here and so did you!
    I wonder if this is about ‘skills’ needed to work with a wiki, (because I think there is a learning curve involved in becoming comfortable with the tool),
    -OR-
    Could it just be an editing issue? I ask this because even when editing in my classroom on paper, I have found that students do not always edit peer work effectively. In other words, they ‘contributed’ on the wiki, just as poorly as they would have in a class, on paper. With time and a little built in structure, I think you will find the effort and willingness of students to help each other increase on the wiki. Keep us posted!

    Also, a quick FYI, a number of your students have posted a lot of personal information on the wiki assignment pages… addresses, e-mails and even phone numbers.
    Dave

  4. A couple of days ago I was thinking that maybe the thing was that I asked them to do something that is traditionally regarded as “cheating” at school.That must have puzzled them. But I’m not sure.

    Don’t worry, all the personal information is fake. I insisted on this, they couldn’t understand at the beginning. I was the first time somebody talked to them about internet safety. They are 15 and 17; imagine, they’ve been on the web for such a long time.
    g

  5. Hi Mrs G!
    I know, people say i am good at writing, well i am, but find ti better to write privately. More fun and exciting. Sometimes, i think how EVER will i reach university? How ever will i choose what job to do in the future? But time will tell, i am just a child anyway!!

    What a great post that sent me thinking!! 😀
    Thanks for your comment!! You are right! Why didn’t i EVER think about doing a wiki!? Thankyou Mrs G for the wonderful help, we really need it, maybe too in the future! Thanks for the idea once again, yes we are struggling a bit, but thanks to you, you have lifted our spot a bit higher!!
    THANK YOU!! 😛
    Hopefully, I will get back to you and tell you how we are going! And also, do you mind helping us? That would be really great though then.
    Thanks alot! 🙂
    Bye!

  6. Of course Nadine I’ll be ready to help you in case you need any help.
    As you say, you’re a child; but a very active one. I’m sure you’ll be whatever you want to be.
    Good luck, I’ll keep in touch.

  7. Hi Miss G!
    I just want to thank you for helping Stephie with the wiki. It means alot to me! 😀
    It looks great and is pefect for what we need. Maybe, if you could, make a blog like mine, and the one like you have now? For whaling as for well, and for those who can’t comment on the wiki? Thanks anyway. 🙂
    Thanks again for helping!!
    P.S Could you help me or give me some instructions and tell me how to write a post on the wiki please? Thanks!!

  8. Hi Nadine, first go to the Wiki and request to “join” (upper left), you need to be a member to edit. Here you can see some instructions on how to edit a page, it’s very easy:
    http://takingitfurther.wikispaces.com/How+to+Edit
    Is Miss W your teacher?
    I’ll tell Stephi how to start a blog, you can use the wiki to organize it.
    See you

  9. Hello again Mrs G
    Thanks for the help, I have joined finally! I also want to thank you for helping me and Stephie!! 😀
    And guess what? I have mastered editing, writing a page and becoming a member! YAY!!
    Actually, no, Mrs W isn’t my teacher, my teacher is Mrs Pericles, this is my class blog where you can contact her on:
    http://www.allstars.edublogs.org
    She’ll love to hear what you think about my work on the blog, trust me, I know her! 😆
    Nadine

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