Saturday, October 1, 2011

The WANDA Wiki Wonderland Project

     In this wiki project the school librarian and language arts teacher worked together to create a wiki-based literature circle where students chose works to analyze, notate, discuss and archive (thus the name of the project WANDA = "Works Analyzed Notated Discussed & Archived").

What I like about this project is that it is a collaboration between the media specialist and the teacher. Lessons were taught in the library on fair use of multimedia products as well as how to create media or use copyright-free images and to properly cite sources. Lessons were taught in the classroom relating to story elements and writing. They shared responsibility for developing criteria for how they would go about co-assessing student work.  

I also like that the eighth graders decided amongst themselves what books to read and what pace they would read them. They also decided some of their own deadlines, criteria for projects, and participated in self-assessment exercises. The wiki was used for their conversations, as a tool to sharpen writing and communication skills, and to present their multimedia presentations to real audiences. 

The only thing I dislike about the project is the look of the wiki. Somehow the style feels dated and cumbersome. I don't know enough about wikis, yet myself, to know if wikis, in general, just look like this or if there are better ways to present them. 


Overall, though, I love this project! See what you think.
http://wandawiki.wikispaces.com/Home

Reference:
Moreillon, J., Hunt, J., & Ewing, S. (2009). Learning and teaching in wanda wiki wonderland: Literature circles in the digital commons. Teacher Librarian, 37(2), p. 23-8. Retrieved from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.com

2 comments:

  1. Anytime that students have the ability to direct their projects/assignments it seems that they become more engaged and learn more. What a great interdisciplinary, creative project! Thanks for sharing!

    -EFairall

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  2. I love that the students were doing all sorts of projects to demonstrate their understanding. In one of the circles on The Book Thief, students drew pictures and read paragraphs aloud. Many of the books were engaging, which is important for this sort of project. I really enjoyed this wiki, though I agree with you about its dated feel.

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