Wiki Works!


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How to create a wiki and why it is important for school librarians to understand this technology. Numerous examples of schools using wikis are included.

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  • Why are we talking about wikis? It is obvious that the flow of information has changed a great deal. Information is no longer a one-way street – no longer from the teacher – the textbook – the library. At least not just from these sources.Information is a two-way street with information being malleable, no longer fixed, and two-way. One of the greatest issues we have to contend with is the fact that we are preparing our students for a society that didn’t exist just a few short years ago. Moves the source of information from publishers to consumers.Participatory culture – new literacies we are responsible for teaching and students are responsible for learning
  • Of course we all know that Wikipedia is not without its faults and there are many in the profession that have very legitimate concerns about its use as a research tool. No one has taken a more humorous look at the potential downside of Wikipedia than Stephen Colbert.
  • I’ve had a little experience with Wikipedia. When Clyde Bulla died in 2007, I updated his biography including correcting information about his background as well as adding a significant list of his published works. I didn’t go back to the site for some time and realized that everything that I had added had been removed and the error in his background had been put back in again. I figured that couldn’t be a lot of fun – correcting the biography again and again and I let it pass. As you can see there has been quite a bit of correction on Clyde’s biography. Interestingly enough the error in his biography has been corrected by someone else and is no longer visible.Equally interesting is the link that I added to the bottom of the biography to an article from the local newspaper still is there.The ease of being able to go back an change back to the history is one of the ways to beat someone who tries to vandalize the wiki.
  • Wikispaces – “offers ad-free wikis for K-12 educators, embeddable easy-to-use widgets, frequently asked questions (and answers) from teachers, five quick tours of WikisSpaces, and more.” – Baumbach and Lee.Allow educators more space. To enable a student to edit the wiki, send them an e-mail with the user name and password you assign. You can use generic, grade level user name and password. PBWiki will allow you to create a wiki key which is like a password that you can give the students. They can access the wiki without registering. The wiki is still listed as private and no one can access the wiki without the key.
  • Carl Harvey keeps working on his elementary library Web site. For his “Grade Level Resources” he has created individual wikis which are updated separately from the Web site itself. It gives him a lot more flexibility.
  • This is an example of a wiki that Carl Harvey has created that is linked to his library’s home page.
  • JoyceValenza designed pathfinders using Pageflakes.
  • This Web site has been around for a while but the concept of how to construct a pathfinder is still strong. So many pathfinders leave out the selection of library materials and this guide makes sure to include books and journal articles along with the Internet resources.
  • Here is an example of an updated pathfinder that uses widgets from subscription databases. This has the advantage of getting the subscribed resources right in front of the students
  • Policies and procedures manuals lend themselves specifically to being set up in a wiki. While policy manuals don’t change very often, they are often put together by a committee. The e-mails that fly back and forth with the crossed out information and the added information can all be located in one place when on a wiki. A procedures manual, by contrast, may be updated on a regular basis as well as being the work of a group of people. Because of ease of editing and the collaborative nature of wikis, many schools are moving their manuals to a wiki.
  • Cindy Bode and Allyson Carroll put together this wiki to enhance student research skills as well as their enthusiasm for history.
  • Creating a Web site for a special even but do not want to bother a Web master with regular updates – or if the process is so bureaucratic that the time to get a Web site up would be past for the even your are planning
  • To store all of the workshop materials that the librarian, Carolyn Foote, has created are stored on a Pbwiki site. Librarians spend a lot of time creating these great workshops for staff members and so often the information is no longer available after the workshop is over. Or some of the teachers were not there the day that you did the workshop and they will miss all the great information that you have. One way to take care of this is to collect the handouts and links in one place for future reference. After you have trained them where to go, they will also stumble upon other great material that might help them from workshops that you have done other places.
  • Switch from PDF files for wikis is the ease with which “link rote” can be pruned Whether it is a class assignment, presentation at a conference, or district documents, if it hasn’t been looked at in six months, there will be links that are no longer valuable.
  • Librarian, Barbara A. Jansen, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas collaborates with the teachers on assignments. When they are going to teach an assignment together, she creates a wiki as in the next example on “Biology, Beneficial Bacteria.” Teachers send her the material or add the material themselves.
  • Introduce the information together. The librarian teaches the skills that the students need to be successful in the assignment: research requirements; skills that they need to demonstrate project. The students have access to the wiki and will place their assignments in the one place. The librarian showed them how to get started with a wiki, how to do advanced searching in the databases, etc. The students can come back to the requirements at any time. This was for a freshmen group and since they can’t drive, being able to work from home was a real asset.
  • Why are we talking about wikis? The big change that has come with Web 2.0 means that information is no longer a one way street. No longer just from the teacher – from the textbook – from the library – information has become a two-way street
  • No matter how much we want to move into the next era of teaching – we have a lot of roadblocks – filters – administrators – the technology branch of the school – a lot of “NO” comes from those who have reasons for concern. Despite their concerns, we have to figure out a way to deal with the world these students will be working in. How many of your students don’t have a smart phone? And yet the students can’t use them at school. One of the 2.0 tools that is less threatening than many of the others because of the safeguards that are built into some of the applications is the wiki.
  • One of the truly outstanding elementary library Web sites comes from Grandview Elementary School in the East Ramapo School District in New York. Sarah Chauncey, librarian, makes it very clear that even at the elementary level, privacy is a concern but yet manageable.
  • Besides the inherent lack of privacy that can come with witki interaction, there is the fact that Google knows who you are. Your interaction with a wiki can be very public and the information goes everywhere with you. That’s good – isn’t it?
  • Working with a wiki is not traditional homework – not a traditional classroom assignment – resistance from staff and particularly from administration. Is this real homework?
  • Needless to say no matter how wonderful the idea is, if there aren’t enough computers the project isn’t going to be successful. One of the bright sides of this kind of project is the fact that software doesn’t have to be downloaded but wikis work in the cloud. This means also that older machines can be used as well.
  • Wiki Works!

    1. 1. Wiki Works!<br />A copy of this presentation<br /> and an interactive bibliography and suggestions for further reading<br /><br />Floyd Pentlin<br />University of Central Missouri<br />Spring Conference Missouri Association of School Librarians<br />19 April 2010<br /><br />SHOW MO SCHOOL LIBRARIES<br /><br />
    2. 2. 1.0<br />2.0<br />
    3. 3.<br />Granddaddy<br />
    4. 4.<br /><br />
    5. 5.<br />
    6. 6.
    7. 7. Wikispaces – ad-free for K-12<br />
    8. 8. Why Wiki?<br />Develop writing skills<br />Develop group consensus and compromise<br />Presentation tool<br />No editing in Dreamweaver<br />No waits for the Webmaster<br />Different responsible for different ideas<br />
    9. 9. Wiki vs. Blog, etc.<br />Information is not from one source but many sources<br />Editing can be done by one or many<br />No specific organization<br />Web sites anyone can edit<br />Visitors can see the history of changes and revert to earlier versions<br />
    10. 10.
    11. 11.
    12. 12.
    13. 13. [[toc]]<br />[[toc|flat]]<br />
    14. 14.
    15. 15. Expand the library Web site<br /><br />
    16. 16. From Carl’s North Elementary site<br /><br />
    17. 17. School Library Web Site<br /><br />
    18. 18.<br />Pathfinders – Not a Wiki<br />
    19. 19.<br />
    20. 20.<br />
    21. 21.<br />
    22. 22.<br />
    23. 23.<br />
    24. 24. Policy and procedures manuals<br /><br />
    25. 25.<br />
    26. 26. Create a special-event wiki<br />
    27. 27.<br />
    28. 28.<br />
    29. 29. Link rot<br />
    30. 30.<br />
    31. 31.<br />
    32. 32. Teacher’s Textbook<br /><br />
    33. 33. Collection of Resources<br /><br />
    34. 34. Student Reflections and Assignment<br /><br />
    35. 35. Senior Project<br /><br />
    36. 36. Class Project<br /><br />
    37. 37.
    38. 38. Make sure you have access<br />Set up guidelines<br />Password protection so that student privacy can be maintained<br />(No one from outside the school district can be involved)<br />EDUCATE your staff<br />Concerns – The Nervous Principal/IT<br />
    39. 39. Concern - Privacy<br /><br />
    40. 40. Concerns – Google Follows You<br />
    41. 41. Concern - Vandalism<br />
    42. 42. Concerns – Traditional Homework?<br />
    43. 43. Concerns – Enough computers<br />
    44. 44. Wiki Works!<br />A copy of this presentation<br /> and an interactive bibliography and suggestions for further reading<br /><br />Floyd Pentlin<br />University of Central Missouri<br />Spring Conference Missouri Association of School Librarians<br />19 April 2010<br /><br />SHOW MO SCHOOL LIBRARIES<br /><br />