To blog or to wiki


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Comparison of blogs and wikis in the context of a school library setting.

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To blog or to wiki

  1. 1. To blog or to wiki that is the question Wendy Sellors, MLWGS VEMA Spring Regional 2008
  2. 2. Context <ul><li>High school </li></ul><ul><li>Solo librarian (no support staff) </li></ul><ul><li>700 students from 11 districts </li></ul><ul><li>80 teachers, 15% part-time </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 30 dual enrollment courses </li></ul><ul><li>Over 20 AP courses </li></ul><ul><li>Small physical space & print collection </li></ul><ul><li>Modest budget </li></ul>
  3. 3. By withoutyou
  4. 4. Moving from now to how? <ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many hats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical space and budget constraints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High expectations for research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diverse student body with wide range of tech savvy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Independence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diverse, high quality online resources available (subscription and free – esp. primary sources) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High expectations for research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diverse student body </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Goals <ul><li>To convey the value of school library services in an increasingly digital world. </li></ul><ul><li>To improve access to primary sources as well as the frequency and effectiveness of their use. </li></ul><ul><li>To extend the reach of the library beyond the dimensions of conventional space & time. </li></ul><ul><li>To harness the collective knowledge of faculty, students and parents. </li></ul><ul><li>To engage the community in a manner comfortable to those with varying tech savvy. </li></ul><ul><li>To make achievement of these goals sustainable in a solo-librarian context. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Technology needs <ul><li>Quick way to share research tips & library news 1-3 x per week </li></ul><ul><li>Space to organize most frequently used links / information </li></ul><ul><li>Several access points </li></ul><ul><li>Faster to maintain than traditional web site </li></ul><ul><li>Update from home </li></ul>By PPDigital
  7. 7. Blogs – what are they good for? <ul><li>Keeping patrons current </li></ul><ul><li>Providing access to a (fairly) small amount of stable information/links </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to search site or browse by tag or month </li></ul><ul><li>Spend 15-30 minutes per week posting/editing </li></ul><ul><li>Update/edit in browser </li></ul>
  8. 8. Navigation menus at left and top of blog with this theme (Wordpress - Tarski)
  9. 9. Ability to access old posts by month, category, or search
  10. 10. Typical library web pages
  11. 11. Pages with slideshows inserted
  12. 12. Integrated stats (Wordpress)
  13. 13. Constraints of a blog <ul><li>Limited space for navigation links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Links (a.k.a. blogroll) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page menu (if selected theme includes one) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a good home for research guides (a.k.a. pathfinders, webquests, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Individual voices vs. collaborative content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Option to give others power to post, but voices separate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fragmented conversations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comments usually associated with a post </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Posts move down and off the main page </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Blog tips <ul><li>Update at least 1x per week </li></ul><ul><li>Use links/blogroll for internal pages, providing 1-click access to more content </li></ul><ul><li>Label links with user-centered wording </li></ul><ul><li>Back up (export) your blog regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Posts can double (with slight tweaking) as staff emails, brief newsletter articles, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Stream in “fresh” content using RSS feeds </li></ul>
  15. 15. Optional – integrate other free tools <ul><li>Google Calendar </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Picasa photo gallery </li></ul><ul><li>RSS feeds </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo! Pipes </li></ul><ul><li>Google Custom Search Engines </li></ul><ul><li>Ning social network </li></ul>
  16. 17. Common traits <ul><li>Free </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based (platform-independent) </li></ul><ul><li>Easy, fast, template-based set-up </li></ul><ul><li>No HTML knowledge required </li></ul>
  17. 18. Wikis – what are they good for? <ul><li>Facilitating collaborative building of content </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing a growing body of content that you’d like to stay in the same place </li></ul><ul><li>Good home for… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research guides / pathfinders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research / style manual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy / procedure manual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patron-generated resource lists </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Course resource lists </li></ul><ul><li>Research guides </li></ul><ul><li>Search tips </li></ul><ul><li>Tools for research </li></ul><ul><li>Tutorials </li></ul>
  19. 20. Research guides
  20. 21. Add attachments to research guides
  21. 22. “ How to” instructions
  22. 23. Embed Slideshare presentations
  23. 24. Embed YouTube videos
  24. 25. Widgets supported by Wetpaint <ul><li>YouTube and Google Video </li></ul><ul><li>Google Calendar </li></ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Photo Bucket </li></ul><ul><li>Vizu Polls </li></ul><ul><li>Gabbly Chat </li></ul><ul><li>Others (e.g. Slideshare) </li></ul>
  25. 26. Editing the wiki
  26. 27. Toolbar moves up/down as you scroll
  27. 28. Wiki limitations <ul><li>Anyone can edit content </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency of work </li></ul><ul><li>Template constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Harder to back up (in some cases) </li></ul>
  28. 29. Technology Triple Play: Communication, Collaboration, Control
  29. 30. Wiki tips <ul><li>Establish guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Invite community </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforce positive participation </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit content ideas from students </li></ul><ul><li>Develop research guides off-wiki, then add the page when you have a completed draft </li></ul><ul><li>Use available videos and slideshows instead of making them all yourself </li></ul>
  30. 32. Common traits <ul><li>Free </li></ul><ul><li>Ad-free versions available for educators </li></ul><ul><li>Easy, template-based set-up </li></ul><ul><li>No HTML knowledge required </li></ul>
  31. 33. Another perspective Yarmosh, K. (2005, September 19). Blogs versus wikis. Technosight . Retrieved March 8, 2008, from
  32. 34. By nick russill
  33. 35. What questions do you have?