Just Checking

If teachers catch wind of (let’s say) these wiki things and want to know a) “are they really a big deal?” and b) “how can I get my students started?” I’m assuming there’s some kind of website registered (let’s say http://wikis.intheclassroom.com/) where they can find:

  1. a video interview / case study of a telegenic teacher who set some ambitious goals and used wikis to achieve them.
  2. a step-by-step guide for deploying that technology in the classroom
  3. a list of people who have volunteered to serve as tech support representatives over e-mail.

I mean, that’s out there, right? Given the edublogosphere’s abundant hectoring and cajoling, I figure that has to be out there. If it isn’t, that begs the question, have you done enough to help the people who chose to do something?

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I love how you oh so subtlety point out that we can talk & talk & talk, but at the end of the day, it’s what we do that matters.

  2. Dan, I appreciate the sentiment, but it presupposes:

    1. A gatekeeper – someone who says what’s ‘best practice’.
    2. Homogeneity – what’s good for the US isn’t good for the UK, and so on.

    The best method isn’t to provide everything that someone needs. That way they just feel like they’re ‘catching up’. The best way is to get them to dive in – not necessarily to Twitter, but certainly to experience the firehose somewhere online… :-)

  3. Hi, what’s the weird comment when I click on the ‘wikisinthe classroom link?’ It says I can’t access by the server, even when I copy and paste the entire address in.

  4. Michelle, the website doesn’t exist, but it should.

    Doug, no one accuses the Common Craft videos of gatekeeping. We need (essentially) Common Craft videos targeted at education. We need better evangelism. The status quo (telling people to just “dive in”) will result in the same proportion of teachers abstaining from intimidating classroom technology and the same proportion of edutechnologists huffing indignantly that teachers are abstaining from intimidating classroom technology.

  5. SO….want to help me? :)

    I teach 2nd grade. I send home a family letter/survey for parents to complete every year (and am doing the same this year). I keep the completed surveys near my parent communication logs in a binder so I can reference them when I communicate with parents throughout the year. So having a paper copy is important to me.

    However, I want to make things easier for my families…so in addition to the paper copies I’m sending out, I’m letting them know they can opt to complete the google form on my class website. The catch is this: how do I gather the data from the form in a way that’s useful to me? The excel or summary options won’t be useful to me at all.

    Here is my form: http://tinyurl.com/26xdg5s.

    Is there a better way to do this? I guess it’d be easy to upload a word document, have them fill it out, then attach it to an email, but I was hoping for something more streamlined.

    How can I (somewhat) easily manipulate the excel spreadsheet that holds the google answers to get a full piece of paper on each student?

  6. Just observing, this would be a big, big job. If it were done well. It seems unsuited to a volunteer side project for a full-time teacher. Or even several of them. Isn’t this why they establish fancy, funded institutes at ed schools?

  7. Laura, you can use an Excel file as a basis for doing a mail-merge in Word, where you can then lay-out the field in any way you want.

  8. First year teacher writing in here: anybody have any thoughts on Google sites for class webpages? Teaching in NYC high school.