Tag Archives: Collaboration

Friday 4ALL: Wikipedia – The Debate Continues

Click for Source

The question still comes up (as it should)……can/should students use Wikipedia as a resource when researching?

In the past I have read about the peer review process and the electronic programs and systems that aide in the review process that Wikipedia articles go through. I have personally felt it was a suitable source of information to use for quick reference and alongside other resources. More recently it occurred to me that maybe Wikipedia has an opinion on this topic of discussion. So I decided it was time to go to the source…

Wikipedia offers many articles on this topic specifically including Wikipedia: Researching with Wikipedia, Wikipedia: Why Wikipedia is so Great, Wikipedia: Why Wikipedia is Not so Great, and even Wikipedia: Citing Wikipedia.

In a nutshell they suggest “You should not use Wikipedia by itself for primary research (unless you are writing a paper about Wikipedia).” (Wikipedia contributors ) Researchers should cite the original source of information and use Wikipedia only as a secondary source to back up that information as they would with other encyclopedias.

Students and teachers must have conversations about author authority and credibility, bias, purpose, and timeliness to completely understand that content on the web can be written by anyone and is not always accurate. Teachers may wish to have their students follow a process or use an evaluation tool such as the How to Evaluate Wikipedia Articles (Ayers) a one page PDF with recommendations on how to judge the information found on Wikipedia pages. One other suggestion from Wikipedia, make sure the information is cited properly including the date and time the information was accessed since information on Wikipedia is ever-changing.

What are your thoughts and ideas about how to get students to evaluate  resources including Wikipedia, and how they can be used during the research process?

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

*quartermane. Wikipedia T-Shirt. 2008. Photograph. FlickrWeb. 8 Dec 2011. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeeperez/2453225588/sizes/m/in/photostream/>.
*Wikipedia contributors. “Wikipedia: Researching with Wikipedia.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 20 nov 2011. Web. 8 Dec 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Researching_with_Wikipedia>.
*Ayers, Phoebe. “How to Evaluate Wikipedia Articles.” . Wikipedia, 2008. Web. 8 Dec 2011. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/16/How_to_evaluate_a_Wikipedia_article.pdf>.

Tuesday’s Tool: PInspiration

It’s almost August!  Ive been browsing the internet looking for some fresh inspiration to get my classrooms ready.  There are many, many things that I love.  I have fun with my camera, I love quotes, I’m always searching for new ideas to make my classroom better, and I love colorful graphics.  When I stumbled on Pinterest, I found a place where I could somehow keep track of all of them little random things that inspire me.  When I read that  Michelle’s Math in the Middle was hosting a Pinterest Linky Party, well, I knew I had to join.  I can’t wait to follow all of the great teachers sharing their Pin boards!

The good news?  You can join, too! Follow Me Pinterest Badge displayed on your teacher blog!  Then, write a post on your teaching blog about the Linky Party and link the post HERE

Happy Pinning!


Learn more about how you might use Pinterest in the classroom from Kelly at the iLearn blog in her post Pinterest: My New Obsession. If you leave a comments, she might even share an invite with you.

Post by guest contributor Krissy Venosdale of TeachFactory.com. Veteran eMINTS teacher, gifted education teacher, Tweeter, photographer….. and that’s just her day job. Original posted July 23, 2011 at TeachFactory.com.

Tuesday’s Tool: LiveBinder

livebinderLooking for a place to store and share resources with your students? LiveBinder might be the perfect Web 2.0 tool for you. LiveBinder is an online web resource that will help you organize online content, documents, pdf files, videos, images, and more. In 3 easy steps you can collect your resources, categorize and organize them to share them with your

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learners so that they can easily be used during your lessons. Students could even use LiveBinders to showcase their learning in projects they create. To make your first LiveBinder create a free account and click online casino the “Start a Binder” button. Begin adding links while you browse the web. LiveBinder makes it even more easy by having a Bookmarklet tool. After adding the button to your favorites toolbar all you have to do is click the “Live Binder It” button to add links to your binder. Learn how to use it by watching the How-To video. There are a variety of ways to use LiveBinders. You can use it as a teaching tool, a student end product, or a way to share resources with your colleagues. The Evidence of Learning 2.0 LiveBinder by mikefisher821 is a jumping off point to software and web apps that teachers can use to facilitate authentic learning experiences. The Sample 6th Grade Book Report by Guru was created to show how you might have students use LiveBinder as part of a classroom lesson. What might be some ways you are thinking about using LiveBinders in your classroom? Carmen Marty & Brooke Higgins are eMINTS Instructional Specialists.

Thursday’s Tip: Vanished-A Problem-solving Online Project from MIT & Smithsonian

An environmental disaster has taken place on Planet Earth and we need your help.” is how it starts.

An online project called Vanished, is a new opportunity for kids (ages 10-14 1/2) to be a part of a mystery game of problem solving and investigations. The goal of this project, created and run by MIT’s Education Arcade and the Smithsonian Institution, is to engage kids in on and offline challenges, collaborating with peers and experts, and solving the mystery of Vanished using the scientific method.

The project runs from April 4, 2011 to on or around May 31, 2011 and is only open to kids. It’s not too late to sign up, kids can jump in anytime and start the challenge. AdultTeachers and parents may sign up but can not participate or assist but only “watch”.

To be a part of the project have your kids visit Vanished, create an account, and begin the challenge. Or to learn more visit their About page.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

Teaching Tips: Using Corkboard.me in Your Classroom

Some time back I shared how you might use a virtual corkboards as a collaboration tool in your classroom. Recently, a friend shared with me some updates that one of the online tools I highlighted has added. These new features make the tool even more dynamic. Corkboard.me is expanding and adding features to make it more useful and collaboration friendly. Here are some of the new options Corkboard.me offers:

Add Images – You can now add images to your board. All you need is the URL for an image location and you can paste it into a note by right clicking and selecting paste from the drop-down menu.

Mini Map Navigation – Corkboard.me has always had a small map in the bottom right corner that, when clicked, will show you where all notes have been placed. Great to use when you know others are pasting notes to a board and you can”t find them.

Real Time Changes – There is no need to refresh your page to see updates others make to your Corkboard.me page, casino they all happen in real time. When your students are collaborating with others outside of your classroom, everyone can see changes instantly.

Chatting – Sometimes when you and students are working with others that aren”t in the same room you need to do more then post a note on the corkboard, now Corkboard.me has a chatting feature. Have your students change the name to their first name and they can begin chatting. As the teacher you can monitor the conversations and add to the discussion as well.

Embedding – One of the coolest new features (I think) is that now you can embed your Corkboard.me page in any online tool that allows for embed code. Whether it be your website, wiki, Moodle course, or more, you can share what is on your corkboard page with anyone.

Corkboard Protection – Any finally, you can now show off your corkboards to others without the fear of them making changes. Corkboard.me allows you to “lock” a corkboard and share a View Only copy. It”s a link to a protected version you can give to anyone without the worry that the content will be changed.

Corkboard.me is not a paying sponsor or advertiser on this blog just a great online tool that I can”t quit talking about.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

Tuesday’s Tool: TitanPad

This week I visited a good friend in his Middle School Social Studies classroom and watched as his students were finishing up a project using a online collaborative document tool called Titanpad.com. He told me a little bit about how the kids were using it and some of the pros and cons of the tool. I said that it sounded a lot like Google Docs and he explained why he felt it was even better.

TitanPad allows students to work simultaneously on a document similar to a Google Doc but does not require a user account. His students simply needed the link to the “public pad” he created, they added their name in one of the toolboxes next to a color block so that he could monitor their participation, and they were off and running. They had access to basic formatting tools and individuals additions were color coded so that they could see who what adding what content. They saved changes as they went and had access to previously saved versions. When the class time was over someone saved the document and it was ready to go for the next day.

Other features: TitanPad also allows for importing from text file, HTML, Word, or RTF file or exporting to text file, HTML, Word, RTF, PDF, Bookmark, or OpenOffice files. There is also a chatting feature and a “time slider” that allows a user to “play” the document and watch the document develop over time.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Tuesday’s Tool: StoryBird

Know any teachers who have reluctant readers or writers? Are you looking for an online tool to jumpstart all students’ imagination? If the answer to either question is yes, then you need to check out Storybird!
What is Storybird? Basically, it’s an online, collaborative, storytelling tool that uses artwork for inspiration. Students can read Storybirds from the “public library” or create stories of their own.
It all starts with the click of a button. First, browse through the artwork. It’s fantastic! Some submitting artists are professional illustrators. How often have your students had the opportunity to collaborate with professional artists?! Once inspired by an artists’ work or a theme, it’s time to let the imagination go and create a Storybird. But students don’t have to work alone;  everything is in place to collaborate on a Storybird.
To make the process even easier, you can create a class account and add students so that you can make assignments and build libraries.
This is one of those rare tools that is great for both older and younger students! No matter what you teach, it will be easy to find relevant uses for Storybird.
Debbie Perkins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Google Earth as a Collaborative Tool

Google Earth is a great way to help students read maps and develop an understanding of geography, but Google Earth can also be a great tool for sharing data during a collaborative project.

Google Earth allows students to add text, data and pictures to a particular location on a map. Locations can be entered into Google Earth using GPS coordinates or simply an address. Descriptions, data and photos can be added to each location.

All of this material can be saved as a kmz file for sharing with others. These files can be opened in Google Earth for display on any computer. Collaboration with students from different geographic areas can be facilitated by uploading the kmz file to a website or portal where participants from different schools can download the file and add their information.

The Google Earth tutorial is a great place to start in learning to add data to Google Earth documents.

The Google Earth Community also has some helpful tutorials.

Many projects that involve examining different geographic locations could be enhanced by using Google Earth. Consider how adding pictures and text to locations on Google Earth might add to a Flat Stanley Project .

Many science investigations could benefit from using Google Earth to record information collected from different geographic locations. The Pathfinder Science Project involves many such investigations.

What about Chewing the Fat ? In this online project, students from different areas collect examples of slang. In the How Much Does it Cost project ,students compare the cost of items in different areas of the world . The ideas are endless.

Do you have other ideas for using Google Earth for sharing information and data?

Michelle Kendrick is a program coordinator for the eMINTS National Center.