The set up of our class wiki (http://whatelse.pbwiki.com) has begun and is ongoing. I created the project as part of PBWiki Summer Camp to promote the use of wikis in the classroom as a collaborative writing format. As a result, I am now a PB Wiki Educator 🙂 so if teachers or principals have questions/concerns/suggestions, please contact me. I’d be glad to hear your ideas or offer suggestions about wiki implementation.
One project for eighth grade will be “Letters to the President” sponsored by Google Docs and the National Writing Project. The goal is for students to investigate and discuss issues and concerns they would like the future president to address. Students will collaborate in Google Docs and write letters in Google Docs to be transferred to a website of participant’s letters. It’s a fantastic opportunity for students to express themselves responsibly and sincerely to possibly effect change in the future.
As the year started and students filtered in, the eager faces mingled with those students who are less concerned with education and more concerned with being center stage with inappropriate language and actions. I thought about the implications the work of often contrary students could bring to the project; would they continue their negative, distorted views? In the next instant, though, I knew that it is precisely these students who need the opportunity to participate. Their immediate issues and concerns can be transcended as the the whole class deals with and discusses issues of the community. How else will all the students become engaged responsibly if we (I) don’t invite all students? Our purpose and my stated goal is to facilitate student civic responsibility; I believe the students, all of them, will want their voices heard, and they can only be heard if they learn the protocol for responsible sharing. I share these feelings and concerns I have so my students know how carefully and thoughtfully I plan for their successful education and hope for their future.
So, students, what do you think? Are you willing to join students across the nation in “writing the future” by learning how to address concerns to a public persona with thorough discussion, research, and writing?