Wiki Workshop by 5SjJdD


									Charles Olbert
Web Manager
UNC Center for European Studies
• Understand wikis conceptually
• Consider educational applications
• Obtain experience using and
implementing wikis
• Gain some fluency in thinking about
issues specific to education and

Bottom Line: Know whether wikis are
right for you

How do you use the internet in an
 engaging, interesting, genuinely
 interactive way?

How can you use the “non-locality”
 of the internet to your advantage
 to work collaboratively?
What is it like to use the internet?

What was it like in the mid/late 1990s?

• Static webpages
• Look, but don’t touch
 Static list of menu options
 Menu determined by the chef
 Food cooked behind closed doors
 Power relations pre-determined (critics,
 managers, owners)
 One-to-Many
WEB 1.0
 Static list of site contents
 Content determined by the webpage author(s)
 Site content developed independently from site
 Power relations pre-determined
 (feedback forms, owners, authors)
 One-to-Many development
 Interactivity limited to clicks, email, search

• Museum
• Magazine
• Lecture Class
• Museum metaphor (to some extent)
• Note taking from authoritative source
• Passive intake
• Why prefer over “hard copy” resources?
• Barriers to entry for student use (hosting, code
  knowledge, access)

How is it any different from printing a file and
 handing it to a colleague?

Why prefer electrons over hard copies?

Lack of genuine
 No list of pre-determined options
 Recipes developed by individuals
 Developed with others in kitchen
 Power relations up for grabs
 Many-to-Many development

• Playground
• Lego sets
• Improv Theatre
“Web 2.0 is a term often applied to a
 perceived ongoing transition of the
 World Wide Web from a collection of
 static websites to a full-fledged
 computing platform serving web
 applications to end users.”
                       -- Tim O’Reilly
(widely credited with coining the term “web 2.0”)
WEB 1.0                 WEB 2.0
Reading                 Writing
Companies/Individuals   Communities
Home pages              Blogs
Ownership               Sharing
Lectures                Conversations
Encyclopedias           Wikipedia
Static                  Dynamic
Internet as Product     Internet as Process
GOAL: To create genuinely
 interactive, interesting
 applications on the internet.

PROBLEM: How do you do it?

AND with minimal resources?

*** Problem Areas

Wikis are one pretty good, pretty
 accessible resource for achieving
 some of these goals with minimal
“A wiki is a website where every page can be
  edited in a web browser, by whomever happens
  to be reading it.” – Tom Stafford, Matt Webb

“A wiki allows a group of people to enter and
  communally edit bits of text. These bits of text
  can be viewed and edited by anyone who visits
  the wiki.” – Marshall Brain

“A wiki is a collection of web pages designed to
  enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or
  modify content, using a simplified markup
  language” – Wikipedia
A wiki is, essentially, just a collaborative, fully
  editable website.

1. Collaboration: “anyone” can add, edit, link, even
2. Simplicity: light, easy to use “markup language”
   (no need to know html/php/etc.)
3. Soft Security: automatic backups, revision
Same elements of normal webpage: links, text,
images – Same versatility as a normal webpage
• links to editor
• links to revision history
Wikis make it easy to correct         mistakes
rather than difficult to make them.

Hand authority over to a group culture: bottom-up
“soft” security rather than top-down “hard”

Good for developing content, less good for
developing style (writing or visual).
Wikis versus blogs versus “home pages”:

Homepages – pre-defined content, no
system for indicating change. Implied single
author (one who knows html or a designer).

Blogs – additive content in one dimension
(time). Implied singular author.

Wikis – undefined structure (until users impose
it on their own terms). No pre-defined implied
BIG DEAL? Anyone can edit – is that revolutionary?


Moves from model of authority to model
of trust and community.

Achieves shift in technology through shift
in philosophy.
BIG DEAL? Anyone can edit – is that revolutionary?

Demonstrates that learning need not be based on
receiving “word from on high” or by a solitary
individual reading a book.

Learning can happen in a community, collaboratively.
BIG DEAL? Anyone can edit – is that revolutionary?

Challenges students to think hard about issues of
knowledge creation, community, and compromise.

Who owns wiki content?
How do you negotiate changes?
How do you identify non-neutral points of view?
BIG DEAL? Anyone can edit – is that revolutionary?

"...The biggest thing about these self-publishing tools is
that they’re self-publishing... You don’t need to be a geek
to be able to publish to the ‘net anymore - and this stuff
has the potential to “fix” the web, which was supposed to
be a dynamic network of linked content published by
individuals, but got co-opted into a variation of the TV
broadcast model, with users sitting in front of glowing
screens receiving the content that The Man wants to feed
them. Instead, we can effectively publish our own
content, with whatever authority we can muster."
                           -- D'Arcy Norman
WEB 1.0 Pages           Wiki Pages
Authority               Community
Opacity                 Transparency
High Barrier to Entry   Low Barrier to Entry
Ownership               Contribution
Wikis maximize interplay.
Wikis are democratic
Wikis work in real time.
Wiki technology is text-based
Wikis permit public document construction (distributed
Wikis complicate the evaluation of writing
Wikis promote negotiation
Wikis permit collaborative document editing, or open
Wikis make feedback intensely public and potentially
Wikis work on volunteer collaboration..

From dossiers practiques by Renée Fountain
First: Create an account
(link is at upper right)

Then you should see something like this:
Second: pick a page to edit
The editor looks like this:

Mouse-over the buttons for a brief
description of what they do. Then play
around and create/edit!
Third: take a look at the revision history
Creating a wiki using a
third-party application

Type your email address
in the box and click on
“Get Started” button

Once you fill in the
form, you will be
sent an email for
            Next: sign in.

           Then: find ‘sites’ link at
           right and click through

Site Name


Access Rules


Creating and
editing pages is

Google Sites’
editor is a little
more familiar
than MediaWiki’s.

Access controls
seem reasonable
in terms of

and parents can
be invited as
• Collaborative syllabi
• Tracking progress/behavior across classrooms
• Meeting planning / agenda creation
• Event planning
• Collaborating with other/international schools
• Develop a database of lesson plans

“Using the wiki has allowed us to
  share and collaborate on the
  research that we would have
  otherwise done individually”
• Collaborative projects
• “Process-oriented” writing tool (track changes)
• Connecting with other schools or students,
  nationally or internationally
• Peer editing / review
• Teaching consensus & compromise
• Building outlines and reference lists
• Annotating longer works/poems/stories
• Creating online bibliographies
• Adopt a Wikipedia page
• Online “study groups”
“In all instances, the users decided for
  themselves how the wiki would fulfill their
  objectives. Technical support and training
  was minimal: at most, one hour of
  instruction was needed, and in most
  cases, orientation was handled by a
  single email.”
                           Brian Lamb
The power to create entails the power
 to destroy: in other words, “if
 anybody can edit my text, then
                    anybody can ruin
                    my text.”
                  (Vandalism is most likely to
                   happen on wikis that
                    involve controversial topics)

BUT: You have the power to revert to previous
 versions in the edit history.

You can also track who
made what changes.

Define vandalism and
clearly specify consequences.
Accountability is key.

Discourage deletion. Encourage “refactoring”
Major factor in success/failure of wikis.

Assessment that supports collaboration:
• Assess process AND product
• Group marks
• Strong individual marks
• Peer assessment

Clearly define expectations and have a
  transparent system for assessment that you
  discuss up-front (i.e., explain why).
• Minor edits can have bigger than anticipated
• Edits & Improvements vs. content
• Rewrites vs. core ideas
Comfort Level
• Giving up authority
• Yet closely monitoring
• Ensuring student privacy/safety
• Fluency with software

• Feeling good making contributions
• Making edits directly to others’ work/contributions
• Fluency with software
Openness, Context

The amount of monitoring
and moderating required by
wikis will depend on the context.

Collaborating with other teachers can be
 more free-wheeling and open than using
 wikis to monitor process-oriented writing.
• Can you post student work on the web?
• Can you use student names/initials?
• Can you post class pictures?
• What is the policy on posting info that might
  identify the class online?
• Can these policies be met through security
  settings, parent and student agreements?
• Are the wiki tools that you want to use blocked
  by your school’s filter? (and: can they be
“The best ways to get parents excited about your
  wiki are to inform them and to include them.”
                        -- TeachersFirst

Keep pages private to ensure security.

Allow parent access as requested?

(Some wikis allow ‘view only’ members, which is a
  good solution for allowing parents access to the
  wiki without worrying that they’ll start making
“Wikis are at their best when a small number of
  people are working intensely on related material.
  They're messy, immediate, and a powerful way
  of sharing thinking space with your
  collaborators.” – Tom Stafford & Matt Webb
Wikis require further effort:

Technology does not always change
  practices by itself. Students will not leap
  to collaborate just because the tool allows
  for it.

UNC Center for European Studies
European Union Center of Excellence

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