It all started with a Wiki. You know. You start one and it becomes all consuming. “Wow, it’s two o’clock already?” or “you guys are on your own for dinner” type of consuming. It’s like starting a blog.
The Brandon Hall Wiki we use internally (actually we have tried several over the past couple of years) is MediaWiki which was written for Wikipedia. This past week though, I’ve been busy exploring other Wiki platforms.
A class I am taking requires me to set up three knowledge bases on learning theories. Some people used PowerPoint, some used Word, a couple had pages on their Websites but I decided to use a Wiki even though this isn’t a collaborative project. I used pbwiki, a wiki designed for educators, and loved it. Nice templates for classes. Easy. (I won’t share my school wiki because I think it sucks right now. After I’ve been graded with an “A,” maybe).
I’m using WikiSpaces for some workshops on Emerging Learning Technologies. I like this platform too. I found that multiple people can’t edit at the same time though, so have set up pages for each attendee to work in. There’s some nice, easy to use plug-ins. I thought since others will be leading the workshop at different times during the year, it’s nice to get the agenda and content out there along with a place for people to work. It’s not done yet either. Of course, that’s the nature of a Wiki. I guess that’s what I like.
This “never done” aspect of collaboration raises some interesting questions when it comes to a class Wiki that is graded. When I turn the knowledge base assignment in (provide a link via the university’s Blackboard LMS dropbox), can I continue to work on it? When does the professor actually review it? It’s a roll of the dice for procrastinators. (I think it would feel like cheating).
My daughter (11) set up her own Wiki this week using WikiSpaces. She was home from school and watching what I was up to on the workshop Wiki. I had her act as a workshop participant and go through my little 10-minute explanation/demonstration on – you guessed it…wikis. I asked her, what do you think? She said, “Mom, can I have one?” (successful training!)
It’s always fun for me to watch a child learn. She has excellent computer skills and her choice of uploading photos of Beefaroni and a Sphynx labeled ‘things I like’ cracked me up (those running for the award ‘Mother of the Year’ apparently feed children Beefaroni). I imagine she’ll have a fully functional Wiki to share with her friends shortly. (FYI for your kids…parental controls on our PC running with Vista allowed her to set up an account but not access her Wiki. WTF? Anyway, she was up and running in 10 minutes and I removed controls).
In the event you don’t know what a wiki is, here’s one definition:
A Wiki allows web pages to be created and edited using a web browser, usually by multiple people. Wiki software is classified as collaborative software; software that helps people work on a common platform. Wiki software runs the Wiki on a Web server and the Wiki engine implements the wiki technology. Most Wiki engines are open source meaning the code is openly available to the public.
What’s your Wiki favorite?