If you’ve been in a session with Alan, Jim or me, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the story about the teacher and students at my former school who built a Wikipedia page for a creole colonial plantation home in New Orleans, called the Pitot House. In addition, you may have listened to a podcast we published several months ago, featuring a teacher who also created a page around an area of interest, the Wodaabe. Since then, we have heard from others who are jumping on board with this idea.
I would like to share a video that was developed by Pat Kyle, a teacher in the Washington D.C. Public School System who worked with a group of students on the early stages of a project called Stories from Shaw. These students, with the help of Pat, a local public librarian and others within the community, are working to build up a written history of places in their community for inclusion within Wikipedia. Their first piece, still in progress, was written about Shiloh Baptist Church.
What makes this type of assignment motivating? What pitfalls, if any, do you see? What other skills are students learning during this process? Have you tried this with a group of your own students? If you have thoughts on any of these questions, please share your story.