Featured Wiki: Immersion Curriculum Map


Bernd Nuss is the creator of the Immersion Curriculum Map (ICM), a resource developed for language immersion programs to coordinate and chart lesson plans for K-5 students. Built with Wikispaces, the Immersion Curriculum Map provides all participating schools with a series of wikis containing learning materials and an academic roadmap for each grade level and subject.

1. Please describe the Immersion Curriculum Map, and what you use it for.

The Immersion Curriculum Map is a resource, planning, alignment, and collaboration tool designed specifically for language immersion programs in the USA. The ICM empowers teachers to easily select, store and retrieve language specific content resources through a highly interlinked surface structure. Teachers can plan collaboratively as grade level teams by sharing instructional material and by using an integrated pacing guide. The ICM also permits schools to effectively align curricular and language contents between grade levels.


2. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why we use wikis!”

As a public language immersion school, the E.E. Waddell Language Academy in Charlotte, NC, had been looking for an online tool to organize and store language-specific instructional resources. But, it was not possible to find a product flexible enough to address the complexity of immersion planning. Wikispaces was the one product with the aptitude to build up a storage structure matching exactly the needs of dual instructional planning for multiple languages.

3. What advice do you have for schools and districts that would like to build a similar resource?

We heavily rely on our own templates supported by Wikispaces. A template version of the Immersion Curriculum Map is accessible on the online platform of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). Upon request, it can be cloned to any district or school. ICM organizer training is administered through the NCDPI and accessible through their website. This allows us to offer unique instances of the curriculum map to every participating school without having to re-build content.



4. What do you plan to do next with your wiki?

The plan is to use this structure for building a statewide immersion resource center catering to all available immersion languages in the state. The ultimate vision is to network immersion programs nationwide by sharing resources and through training modules that pertain to language immersion.

5. What kind of feedback have you been receiving from your users?

An ICM training participant left this feedback: “I love the layout of the Wikispaces, especially the vertical alignment section and the content and language area sections. This is truly an all-in-one site full of information which will make planning and collaboration so much easier.”

Additional information about the Immersion Curriculum Map can be found on the program’s training wiki.


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Featured Wiki: Emory Healthcare

EmoryHealthcareEmory Healthcare, the largest hospital system in Atlanta, shares how they use Wikispaces Private Label to create an online knowledge base to better support their patient call center agents and physicians.

1. Please describe your wiki, and what you use it for.
We use our wiki as an online knowledge management system for our patient call center agents, physicians and administrators. Our wiki keeps all our scheduling guidelines, provider information, and clinic information updated in a single location that everyone can access.

2. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why we use wikis!”
The “Aha” moment came during training for our call center agents. Our wiki has helped increase their job knowledge and confidence in a short amount of time. They’re now more comfortable when making decisions in their role. Wikispaces has helped decrease onboarding and training time, as well as errors when scheduling patient appointments.

3. What advice do you have for similar organizations that would like to use wikis to build an effective and useful knowledge management site?
Organizations should have an idea in mind of how they want to structure their information in order to avoid making too many changes in the future.

4. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you?
Since over 600 people use me for daily operations, you rely on me quite a bit. I provide everyone with very useful info on a daily basis.




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Featured Wiki: Homewood Flossmoor High School Economics

May16_econwiki2Nick Anello, a high school economics teacher, talks about how his department uses Wikispaces to house economics videos for students and share their pedagogical approach with other economics teachers.

1. Please describe your school, your wikis, and what you use them for.
I teach at Homewood Flossmoor High School, a public high school in Chicago’s south suburbs. I have two wikis that I’ve created with my colleagues. One is for other teachers of economics. We house our pedagogical ideas and content standards for other teachers to review and use.

My other wiki is where we’ve created our AP and IB economics video curriculum online for any student to view. We use this wiki to help students who have been absent or need to review for tests, quizzes and end of the year exams. People around the world have viewed our wiki. This year has seen a large following from Belarus!

2. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why we use wikis!” 
As part of an assignment for a computer course in my Master’s program, I built a wiki. At the same time, my department was creating videos about the hardest topics in economics for our students. I’m the tech guy for our econ professional learning community and suggested we start housing the videos in a central location. After researching other sites, Wikispaces was the best combination of simplicity and functionality. So, we started using Wikispaces and have never looked back.

3. What advice do you have for schools and districts that would like to use wikis?
There are a lot of ways to use wikis. The advice I would give to schools is to find out what works best for your class.

4. What do you plan to do next with your wiki?
We’re still working to publish more and more content on the site. We eventually plan to input calculators and other widgets into the site once we have 100% content video coverage.

5. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you and your school?
My wiki would say “you guys definitely realize the Marginal Benefit of using Wikispaces exceeds the Marginal Cost of the time it takes to create me. Thank you!”


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Featured Wiki: Granite School District Edtech Monthly Newsletter

Granite School District Wiki NewsletterGranite School District in Utah shares how they use Wikispaces as a newsletter to keep their teachers and administrators updated about all things edtech.

1. Please describe your district, your wiki, and what you use it for.
The Granite School District located in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the third largest school district in Utah and is one of the largest in the nation. We have over 3,500 teachers and 200 administrators across 63 elementary schools, 16 Jr. high schools and 8 high schools.

In 2011, the Educational Technology Department started using Wikispaces as a monthly newsletter for our teachers and administrators. We normally list 4-8 news items each month including professional development registrations for tech classes, techy teacher spotlights, grant information, and other events. We also share our favorite online resources for the classroom.

2. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why we use wikis!” 
Wikispaces was exactly the thing for us because it’s easy to do everything we needed for a newsletter. Adding images, text and other files, hyperlinking, creating new pages, tracking the number of wiki visitors are a breeze. We can keep archive of old newsletters simply by consolidating their wiki pages in the Navigation Menu. Anchors are critical to our format and simple to use. Embedding Twitter feeds works in Wikispaces, but not always in other web tools. Lastly, the Wikispaces format stays consistent, so no big surprises to throw us off.

3. What advice do you have for schools and districts that would like to use wikis to communicate with their educators?
Show how to use new edtech tools in your newsletter by embedding training videos from Youtube in your wiki. Spotlighting exemplary educators provides the acknowledgment they deserve and helps to inspire others. Other tips:

  • Educators are busy, so keep news items short and to the point.
  • Make news items visual with hyperlinked images, pictures and video.
  • Send it out around the same time each month and monitor the best days and times to send it out.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread and check your links!
  • Keep an archive (we often hear that teachers like to refer back to older items).

4. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you and your school?
It would say that we do our best to to keep educators updated about resources and opportunities that will help them integrate technology into the classroom and make learning fun and meaningful for students.





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Featured Wiki: Newton Barwa Academy Homework Page

Newton Barwa wiki 2Newton Barwa Academy in Qatar shares about how they use their wiki to improve parent communication, save the environment and foster a bit of friendly competition among their teachers.

1. Please describe your school, your wiki, and what you use it for.
We are an International School from Foundation 1 to year 10 with over 2,000 students. We have three campuses and a huge international community.

We decided to use Wikispaces in the primary grades in order to become a paper-free homework school. We were conscious of the high cost of printing and photocopying homework assignments and the impact of so much paper on the environment. We post on our wiki homework assignments, timetable, curriculum, and school activities. Communication to our parents is always a priority. By setting up a wiki, we can communicate more effectively. Information is accessible to all, instead of being buried at the bottom of school bags.

2. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why we use wikis!” 
My first aha moment is when some parents said to me “Thank you! My son/daughter used to tell me that they do nothing in school. Now thanks to Wikispaces, I can see what they’re doing.” The second aha moment is a real turnaround in those children who did not do homework, either because they lost the handout or simply did not inform their parents. We have seen an impact on academic achievement. Another aha moment is the creativity of our teachers! Putting together the best wiki page has become a bit of a friendly competition.

3. What do you plan to do next with your wiki?
We want put up on our wiki documents and policies for the parents such as our School Uniform, Attendance, and School Handbook. Although our school website has all this information, Wikispaces is more user friendly.

4. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you and your school?
I think our wiki would say that we want to work as a team with our parents – that we care and share openly with them. It would also say that we want their child to be given every opportunity to succeed.





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