Kicking off with a Wiki

Last year, we taught teachers at our elementary school how to use blogs, wikis and other web 2.0 tools to work and teach. We gave teachers choices about when to adopt their use and how they would use them. This school year, we felt like it was important to embed technology use in everything that we could, where technology was the best tool to use. Putting our money where our mouth is, so to speak. So when summer planning began, we considered our tools...

In years past, teachers were given binders containing the faculty handbook and essential schedules and forms they would need at the start and throughout the year. As the year went on, updates were placed in mailboxes or emailed to teachers.

Last year, we purchased a flash drive for each teacher with all of this information pre-loaded, but then still had to email out updates and hope that the most recent file was the one saved.

This year, we decided to keep all pertinent forms, schedules and information on a faculty & staff wiki. We kept the wiki private because it has teacher addresses and phone numbers as well as other sensitive information, but everyone was invited to join so they could upload when needed.
I even managed to convince my principal to film a little welcome message to everyone. I used Pinnacle to put it together. It is embedded on the home page of our wiki. Our school theme this year is prominently featured. I'll let you watch to find out more about it:

The wiki has had many additional benefits we never considered. Here are some examples:

* Instead of turning in meeting agendas, teachers can upload a copy to the wiki for documentation.
* The master calendar that normally is kept in the principal's office is now an embedded google calendar.
* Faculty members that may have not tried to actually use a wiki last year when they learned about them are now having to weekly use and get comfortable with this wiki.
* Our district has limited the size of our email boxes, making it difficult sometimes, to receive powerpoints or other large files. The wiki is a perfect place to store these items for future use.

It seems like the more we use wikis, the more ideas we come up with to use them. We would love to learn how other schools are using them. Please share!


You are so right about the wiki. Now that we are using them, I can't imagine what we did without them. By embedding the use of the wiki into a teacher's every day, we have now assured that every teacher begins to use the wiki and imagine the possibilities!

Suzanne said...

Wikis have made my life easier in so many ways! I especially enjoy the flexibility it brings when working from home. No longer do I have to carry home a book bag because almost everything is digital. I use the CCE wiki to look up teacher addresses for positive postcards, to look up phone extensions on the roster, to keep agendas, and so much more. In fact, I know eventually, I'll no longer have a filing cabinet because of digital warehousing. How great is that!!