Wikispaces Classroom by TES is a student writing platform that allows students and teachers to contribute information and materials to help promote a common goal. Teachers can create a classroom that allows them to create online writing projects for students in either groups or individually. Some benefits for students is it allows them to get all the information they need for a class project all in one place. Also, it lets teachers track individual student progress and engagement in real-time to see which students need more encouragement or guidance and promotes organization of activities, resources, conversations, and projects in the classroom. A creative classroom lesson idea for elementary grades would be to create a project where students in small groups would research subtopics of weather. These subtopics could include rain, snow, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Each small group would research only one of these subtopics. Students could write about any characteristics or traits of their subtopic of weather, add photos, or add videos onto the classroom wiki page. After all the groups researched and added their information to the wiki page, other groups will be able to view the information posted and learn about the other subtopics of weather mentioned. The activity will encourage collaboration between students in the classroom while learning the characteristics of rain, snow, hurricanes, and tornadoes. The project should be used as supplemental instruction after initial classroom guidance.
Comic Life is a collaborative digital graphic writing app that allows students or teachers to create a short comic book with images and text to tell a story or relate their understanding of learned materials into a comic. It is a fun and creative way to get students excited and interested in any topic! Students can create the comic from a previous lesson in either groups, individually, or as a class. Even the teachers can create the comic to teach the lesson to students! A classroom lesson idea to implement Comic Life is as an entire class, students can create a comic about how Christopher Columbus founded the Americas. The class can create their own dialogue and insert pictures that they think might have happened during Columbus’ voyage. The activity should be used to reinforce ideas and enhance their learning experiences from previous lessons. Comic Life helps students condense and remember information while spicing up the classroom with their imaginations!
Ohio Standard 4.7: Teachers use resources effectively, including technology, to enhance student learning.
Ohio Standard 5.4: Teachers create learning situations in which students work independently, collaboratively or as a whole class.
Justification: Wikispaces and Comic Life utilizes technology to further reinforce reading, writing, and creativity skills while keeping students engaged in learning. These platforms are valuable because it creates limitless opportunities for group work or independent projects to take place after initial instruction over a specific topic. For example, Wikispaces lets students choose to create an individual or group page about subtopics that will later be presented to other students in small groups or as a whole class which creates collaborative learning situations for students.