Thing #16: Wikis

A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and perhaps the most well known of these knowledge sharing tools, but with benefits that wikis provide the use and popularity of these tools is exploding.

Some of the benefits that make the use of wikis so attractive are:
· Anyone (registered or unregistered if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
· Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
· Earlier versions of a page can be rolled back and viewed when needed.
· Users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content.

As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, Libraries all over the country have begun to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, ALA conference wikis and even Library best practices wikis.

Watch this CommonCraft video. It illustrates a wiki "in Plain English" very well.

If the embedded YouTube version does not show, you can view it directly from the Common Craft site.

Take a look at some Library wikis. Here are a few examples to get you started:

For more Wikis including ones used by teachers see Blogroll at this blog:

Use these resources to learn more about wikis:

Atomic Learning has some helpful video clips for Wikis. In the "Our Tutorials" tab chose "PBwiki - Wiki Workshop" or type "wiki" in the search box. (SBISD employees only...password protected)
· Wiki, wiki, wiki - from the Core Competency blog of the Public Library of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County.
· Wikis: A Beginner’s Look – an excellent short slide presentation that offers a short introduction and examples.
· What is a Wiki? – Library Success wiki presentation.
· Using Wikis to Create Online Communities – a good overview of what a wiki is and how it can be used in Libraries.

Curriculum Connections:
Wikis can be made for any classroom:

· Idea #1: Collaborative note-taking. Everyone pitches in and adds a fact or two about a topic. Teachers can encourage students to include opinions, challenges, and appropriate criticism. Students would then write essays using only these notes. Make sure that each addition includes a citation to website, book, or database, including page numbers so that it can be checked.

· Idea #2: History. Students can compile a wiki of famous artists, architects, writers, and other key historical figures from a city, state, or country.

· Idea #3: Create a "top 10" lists and supporting material. This could include scientists and their discoveries, top writers and their books, ... you get the idea.

· Idea #4: Mission trading cards (see Week 3), once completed, could be added to a class wiki.

A sandbox is a term that wikis often use to describe the area of the website that should be used for pure play so for this discovery and exploration exercise, go to the sandbox portion of the Spring Branch Library Future wiki -- go ahead and play! The username is "sbisd" and the password is "sbisdlib."

Discovery Exercise 1. Visit the sandbox portion of the Spring Branch Library Future wiki and add something about your 23 Things learning experience to this point. Remember the username is "sbisd" and the password is "sbisdlib."

You may want to add a link. Click on Sign-in in upper right corner Fill in username and password as listed above. Click on the edit button. Add you comment (just like you would type a post box on your blog) Be sure and click on Save--either at the top in the editor bar or at the bottom way on the right!

Discovery Exercise 2. Create a post in your blog about the experience.

How might you use wikis?

Discovery Resources:

· PB Wiki Tour - Find out how this collaborative tool can be used (YouTube-won't show in district)

· PBWiki Video Gallery - Short videos of PBwiki features

· PB Wiki Tips

Curriculum Connection:

Idea #1: Select one of your favorite curriculum ideas from your own blog. "Copy and paste" it to the sandbox portion of the Spring Branch Library Future wiki wiki. The username is "sbisd" and the password is "sbisdlib." What did you find interesting? What types of applications within Libraries and schools might work well with a wiki?

By the way: Have you made some comments in any other Players' blogs?


atxteacher said...

The video doesn't seem to be available. What's up?

I noticed the same thing on #15.

I went to common craft and viewed it there.

VWB said...

The Common Craft guy seems to have changed viewing permissions and embedding is not always possible. We will make every effort to be sure the link is available.

April said...

"library instruction" link didn't work FYI Thanks

blessingsX4 said...

I was able to see the video from YOUtube. It really explained WIKI in common english...and was easy to understand

VWB said...

The Library instruction link has been removed as that blog is no longer viable.

Kandel's fan said...

I didn't get to play in the sandbox because the login failed. There wasn't an error on what I put in. It was checked and tried several times. I will try again tomorrow.

Kandel's fan said...

It's working. I can now play in the sandbox

jackies said...

I love the Common Craft guys...their videos are cool and easy to understand. I want to do a class on how they do them so I can make some for my kids. Then I want to show my kids how to make them!

HOGARZA said...

Make your own free wiki page:

Comments always appreciated,