Blogs and Wikis at Wesleyan What are they? How can I use them?
Outline <ul><li>What is a blog? What is a wiki? </li></ul><ul><li>Wesleyan specific blogs and wikis </li></ul><ul><li>How ...
What is a blog? <ul><li>“Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal o...
For example: roth.blogs.wesleyan.edu
What is a wiki? <ul><li>Think  Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>“A wiki is software that allows users to create, edit, and link...
Technology or Genre? <ul><li>Both blogs and wikis are web-based applications that allow users to create, edit, and organiz...
Advantages of being web-based  <ul><li>Minimal software requirements </li></ul><ul><li>You can edit your content from anyw...
Advantages of databases <ul><li>Content can be reorganized for different purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Separation of content ...
Content versus Presentation
Blogs, wikis, what’s the difference? <ul><li>Information architecture! </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs typically foreground longit...
Complications <ul><li>Both blogs and wikis have various means to allow alternatives to the primary organization. </li></ul...
Presentation <ul><li>Wikis often (not always, but often!) look like documentation. They tend to be rather utilitarian. </l...
From our Confluence wiki
A customized WordPress blog
Wesleyan Blogs and Wikis <ul><li>Confluence (wiki) </li></ul><ul><li>WordPress (blogs) </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard blogs ...
BlackBoard Wiki
How do I get a Blackboard blog/wiki? <ul><li>Every Blackboard includes a blog tool and a wiki tool. You can ask your (an) ...
How do I get an independent blog or wiki? <ul><li>There is a button to initiate a request in your employee portfolio. </li...
What can I do with a blog/wiki? <ul><li>Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced pedagogy </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion </l...
Administrative uses <ul><li>Sign up sheets </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting agendas/minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Bulletin board </li...
Enhance your pedagogy <ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Group projects </li></ul><ul><li>Rich media </li></ul><ul><l...
Case 1: Sarah Wiliarty’s “Country Pages”
Why a country pages wiki? <ul><li>Balance the theoretical with the empirical </li></ul><ul><li>Balance group depth with cl...
Results <ul><li>It was a smash! </li></ul><ul><li>Transformed class discussions: Put students in role of expert </li></ul>...
The instructor says… <ul><li>“The theoretical material for the course was very challenging. Students were able to grasp it...
Case 2: Eyal Rabinovitch’s “Topics in Gentrification”
Case 3: Jamie Cohen-Cole’s “coldwarblog”
Promotional uses <ul><li>Individual professional pages </li></ul><ul><li>Announce events, publications, etc. </li></ul>
A customized WordPress theme
Scholarly Communication <ul><li>Blogs in particular allow for a new kind of critical (hyper-)textual analysis </li></ul><u...
Case 4:  CommentPress
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Wesleyan Blogs And Wikis

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What are they? How can I use them?

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Wesleyan Blogs And Wikis

  1. 1. Blogs and Wikis at Wesleyan What are they? How can I use them?
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>What is a blog? What is a wiki? </li></ul><ul><li>Wesleyan specific blogs and wikis </li></ul><ul><li>How to get a blog or wiki </li></ul><ul><li>What can I do with a blog or wiki? </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a blog? <ul><li>“Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries…. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.” </li></ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog </li></ul><ul><li>March 2, 2008 </li></ul>
  4. 4. For example: roth.blogs.wesleyan.edu
  5. 5. What is a wiki? <ul><li>Think Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>“A wiki is software that allows users to create, edit, and link web pages easily. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites.” </li></ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki </li></ul><ul><li>March 2, 2008 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Technology or Genre? <ul><li>Both blogs and wikis are web-based applications that allow users to create, edit, and organize content in a database. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a tendency to think of “blogs” in particular as a genre, not entirely without reason. Blogs as a technology are underexploited because of that association. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Advantages of being web-based <ul><li>Minimal software requirements </li></ul><ul><li>You can edit your content from anywhere </li></ul><ul><li>Centralization facilitates collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Browser-based tools work well across platforms </li></ul>
  8. 8. Advantages of databases <ul><li>Content can be reorganized for different purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Separation of content and presentation </li></ul>
  9. 9. Content versus Presentation
  10. 10. Blogs, wikis, what’s the difference? <ul><li>Information architecture! </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs typically foreground longitudinal development </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis lend themselves to cross-sectional view of relationships at a given point in time </li></ul>
  11. 11. Complications <ul><li>Both blogs and wikis have various means to allow alternatives to the primary organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Some blogs have “pages” as well as “posts” </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis often include “versioning” and links to whatever content has most recently been added. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Presentation <ul><li>Wikis often (not always, but often!) look like documentation. They tend to be rather utilitarian. </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs often allow users to customize many features of the style and layout </li></ul>
  13. 13. From our Confluence wiki
  14. 14. A customized WordPress blog
  15. 15. Wesleyan Blogs and Wikis <ul><li>Confluence (wiki) </li></ul><ul><li>WordPress (blogs) </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard blogs and wikis </li></ul><ul><li>[Of course there are also a number of free blog hosting services one might use (e.g. blogger.com ). ITS does not officially support any of these, but neither do we contest their existence or utility.  ] </li></ul>
  16. 16. BlackBoard Wiki
  17. 17. How do I get a Blackboard blog/wiki? <ul><li>Every Blackboard includes a blog tool and a wiki tool. You can ask your (an) ACM for help setting one up. </li></ul>
  18. 18. How do I get an independent blog or wiki? <ul><li>There is a button to initiate a request in your employee portfolio. </li></ul>
  19. 19. What can I do with a blog/wiki? <ul><li>Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced pedagogy </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarly communication… </li></ul>
  20. 20. Administrative uses <ul><li>Sign up sheets </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting agendas/minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Bulletin board </li></ul><ul><li>“Mailing” list </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation (policies, etc.) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Enhance your pedagogy <ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Group projects </li></ul><ul><li>Rich media </li></ul><ul><li>Process as well as product </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond the classroom, beyond the semester </li></ul>
  22. 22. Case 1: Sarah Wiliarty’s “Country Pages”
  23. 23. Why a country pages wiki? <ul><li>Balance the theoretical with the empirical </li></ul><ul><li>Balance group depth with class breadth </li></ul><ul><li>Solve many logistics of group collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize process as well as product </li></ul>
  24. 24. Results <ul><li>It was a smash! </li></ul><ul><li>Transformed class discussions: Put students in role of expert </li></ul><ul><li>Students learned from each other </li></ul><ul><li>Helped students prepare for exams </li></ul><ul><li>Helped students write their papers </li></ul><ul><li>Students value the mobility of web projects </li></ul><ul><li>Garnered many positive evaluations </li></ul>
  25. 25. The instructor says… <ul><li>“The theoretical material for the course was very challenging. Students were able to grasp it more easily because they could constantly evaluate it against their own empirical knowledge. The course was more successful because of the group projects, and the group projects would not have been feasible without the wiki structure.” </li></ul>
  26. 26. Case 2: Eyal Rabinovitch’s “Topics in Gentrification”
  27. 27. Case 3: Jamie Cohen-Cole’s “coldwarblog”
  28. 28. Promotional uses <ul><li>Individual professional pages </li></ul><ul><li>Announce events, publications, etc. </li></ul>
  29. 29. A customized WordPress theme
  30. 30. Scholarly Communication <ul><li>Blogs in particular allow for a new kind of critical (hyper-)textual analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Text and comments (potentially from multiple readers) can be interwoven so that the multiple strands of a discourse are brought into a coherent unity </li></ul>
  31. 31. Case 4: CommentPress

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