Home > Group A Workspace > Learning Activity 7-C-2

Middle School Science Wiki

Advice to Students (Letter to Parents and Students)

Recently our class has been working on a Wiki. You have been divided into several groups discussing and researching the "kingdom of living organisms". This Wiki has been very successful in developing collaboration amongst our class. You have been able to contribute to this and as a result we are all learning lessons on collaboration and working together while we acquire knowledge of important scientific material.

As a result of having a Wiki, our work has been noticed by a teacher in another district who would like to use this information in a lesson. This is exactly why we have Wikis, to share and build on our work. Your work can now be used by others to learn about living organisms, and who knows what they might contribute to the Wiki. Is it possible that we can work with this other class across the state or maybe even one from another state or country? With a wiki we can and you have sparked the interest of others because of the excellent work you have done. Here are some examples of how other middle school science classes use Wikis:

Mr. Bergmann class (Colorado): https://bergmannscience.wikispaces.com/home
Mr. Kabodian's class (Michigan):http://kabodian7.pbworks.com/w/page/5294579/FrontPage

Here is a group that is working on collaboration across the global: (Flatclassroom Project)

You've worked hard to create the content of your wiki. Now someone else wants to use part of that content (photos) within their own project. You want to support that. You should feel proud of the work that you have done. But you might also feel a little apprehensive. What if the new users try to pass off your work as their own? What rights do you have?

Any work that you create is automatically copyrighted, all rights reserved. If you would like to let another class use your work, it would be a good idea to explicitly grant them the right to do so. They won't have to worry about using intellectual property inappropriately and you can have some control over how it is used in the future.

Creative Commons may be your answer. Creative Commons has created licenses and tools to help you assign copyrights to your projects that allow others to use your materials, but also retains your rights to them. You can watch a short movie here that explains Creative Commons licenses and how they work. If you decide to go ahead and assign a free Creative Commons copyright license to your work, talk to me and I'll help you walk through the process. Together we will go to their website, look at the licenses available and come to a consensus as to which license to use.

As you can see, the potential of Wikis is that your work can continue to grow and we can collaborate amongst ourselves and with others.