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Wiki…Wiki…Getting started! Join today and learn how! January 3, 2007

Posted by Joselyn Todd in Educational Technology.
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Several days ago I explored some of the basics of wikis on the blog. Experience has taught me that there is no better way to learn a technology than to actually do it yourself.

You could view today’s post as a professional development opportunity, or you could take the blog entry and use it as a guide in which to use with a few teacher friends who are also interested in learning about wikis. Tomorrow, 1/04/07 (Thursday) you may begin working on the wiki (emergingedtech.wikispaces.com) as a professional development opportunity! I and anyone else who wants to learn about wikis can join the space today (as described below). Tomorrow we will begin working together to create the wiki- a wiki about wikis! I am confident that if you participate in the experience for 20 minutes tomorrow and 20 minutes Friday, that you will be well on your way to launching a wiki project in your classroom!

1.) Create an Account! Create an account in www.wikispaces.com such that you can moderate the creation of a wiki. In this case I already have an account and will be the moderator.

2.) Join the Wiki! Go to: emergingedtech.wikispaces.com and click on “Sign In” in the upper right corner. Choose a username, password, and enter an e-mail address. Next, choose “Join This Space” under the animated .gif image in the upper, left corner. Send me (the moderator) a message and request to participate! Wait for the moderator to approve your participation and happy wiki explorations.

*** Once you guide your students through this one time, they will have an account and can join any of your new spaces by just requesting to participate by choosing “Join This Space” and described above.

3.) Begin the Collaboration by Starting to Add, Edit, and Change Content! In this case we are going to create a wiki about using wikis. Using the table of contents as a guide, begin adding content to the wiki. To do so, choose “Edit This Page” in the upper, right of the wiki homepage. Add text, images, links, You Tube video, audio, etc. Make sure to save often such that your work is not over-written. Lost? Go to www.youtube.com and search for “Intro to Class Wiki with Wikispaces 1”. Watch this 8 minute video!

*** This is one of the challenging aspects of using a wiki. If multiple people are working on the same page at once, they could over-write each other’s work. To avoid this as much as possible, you should create small changes, save your work, and then refresh the browser! If all participants do this, over-writing will be minimal. A pop-up message will indicate if someone else is also making changes to the same page. If you see a pop-up message such as this, go to another page and work on it! Note that as the moderator, I can restore any over-written work so no content is ever truly lost.

4.) An exercise in adding content… Do the following to begin getting a handle on how adding content and editing content is made.

a. Choose a page in the table of contents, choose “Edit This Page”, and add text content by simply typing. Use the tools in the wiki toolbar to format the text such that it is well organized. Choose “Save” and then examine your added content. Do you like how it looks? Does it add value to the topic? To make any changes, just repeat the process by choosing “Edit This Page”, making your alterations, and then saving.

b. Choose a page in the table of contents, choose “Edit This Page”, and create a link. After choosing “Edit This Page” (now you are in editing mode), highlight a word or phrase on the page and click on the icon in the toolbar that looks like a world with a link on it. Add the URL and save. You have now created a link. Does your link work? Test it. To remove the link, go to editing mode and choose the word or phrase, choose the icon in the toolbar that looks like a world with a broken link on it. Save your work. Is the link still present? It shouldn’t be…

c. Choose a page in the table of contents, choose “Edit This Page”, and add an image. In editing mode, choose the “tree” icon. Follow the direction on the dialogue box that emerges. You can add an image from your PC or link to an image on the web.

***Note: This is great time to introduce the important concept of copyright, plagiarism, and properly citing sources. I do not let my students add anything to a wiki that is not of their own creation without adding a MLA citation. Make sure that you cite all sources of information and/or images that are not your own. David Warlick’s Citation Machine is a great resource. Let’s use MLA format.

d. Choose a page in the table of contents, choose “Edit This Page”, and add a You Tube video. Go to www.youtube.com and find a video that would be valuable in terms of its addition to the content of the wiki. You will need to do this in a new bowser tab or window so you do not loose the emergingedtech.wikispaces.com page you are working on. Search You Tube with the following heading “Intro to Class Wiki with Wikispaces 1”. Watch the video. Copy the source code next to the words “Embed” under the “URL” to the right of the video. In editing mode on the wiki, choose the icon of the TV to the right of the link and image icons. Paste the code into the dialogue box. Save. Do you see a video? As an exercise, remove the video.

e. Choose a page in the table of contents, choose “Edit This Page”, and add a file. In editing mode, choose the “tree” icon. Follow the direction on the dialogue box that emerges. You can add a file from your PC. Place your mouse cursor in the area that you want the file to be inserted. Double click on the image of the file that you want to add. Save. Check to see if the file has been inserted by “clicking” on it. Can you get to the file?

Optional Practice Ideas:

Create an account in Studio Odeo (studio.odeo.com) and record a sound file. Embed the sound file into the wiki.

Create your own wikispace and pilot it with a small group. I like to create “proof of concept” prior to testing it with a whole classroom.

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