Posted by: Liana | February 20, 2008

I have read over and over about wikispaces and wikipedia. And I know that “wiki” is derived from my mother tongue, Hawaiian, so what’s not to love about it? Well, other than fear of the unknown it’s got to be all good, right?

In all I teach, I try to be a good student. And if I cannot overcome my fears of the unknown then I not only put myself at a disadvantage but I also do a disservice to my students. So I took the leap into wikispaces.

I first tried wikispaces with my two best friends, Nani and Kathy. We were planning a trip to Las Vegas in March and I thought that we could put an end to our email trails and coordinate our efforts on a wikispace. I set up the page, emailed my friends and no one showed up. Not once. I barely made it there.

So when the fifth graders returned from their O’ahu trip with tons of pictures (800+) to show for it I insisted that they (all 48 of them) create ONE book to capture their adventures in print for eternity.

So how were we going to organize two different fifth grade classes into composing ONE book without duplication of text? (here is where Clark Kent goes into the phone booth to change into his Superman clothes.) WIKISPACES to the rescue!!! I set up a site for the students, made it public but only invited them to edit the pages. I made it clear up front to the students that we were learning all of this together. And that there probably would be issues (two students on same page editing would cause one of their saved paragraphs to be wiped out, for instance, and we found that out the HARD way) that we would need to deal with and learn from, but hey, that’s life!

So far, so good. They wrote their parts, edited their friends’ parts, inserted comments and are now taking their texts and putting it into and iphoto book, just printing their page. We will then combine all pages (sans page numbers) and have the book duplicated by our copy service. We didn’t get to the part about them uploading the pictures they selected to the wikispace (time, of course, is not on our side) so that’s a separate issue I need to work out.

Check it out: I’m all proud 🙂



  1. Liana this looks awesome! You can hear their voices coming through in their writing, especially in their responses to each other. Can’t wait to see the book and pictures that go with it all! Mahalo for sharing.


  2. Blogs, wikis & podcasts. I can’t wait to get myself up to speed at an upcoming “I Can Cafe II”!

    I was wondering how would I be able to view the pictures the students embeded in their wiki?

    Mahalo for your patience! Am still learning ;-).

    Na`u me ka mahalo, na Kähealani

  3. Thank you, Elaine and Kåhealani, for your comments. I really appreciate it. We didn’t end up putting the pics up on the wikispace because 1) we ran out of time and I didn’t want to drag it out anymore and 2) I didn’t want the students’ photos up on a public site. Not this one. Maybe in the future as I get better at utilizing all of wikispaces capabilities. I MUA!

  4. […] My Wikispaces project was a success (see previous post). But success can be measured in degrees. To the trained eye, it may seem as if it was a mishmash […]

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