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Blogs And Wikis In Academia


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Slides from a workshop given at Wayne State University by Office for Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellow Bill Warters.

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Blogs And Wikis In Academia

  1. 1. Blogs and Wikis in Academia Engaging the World of the “Read/Write” Web Presented by Bill Warters OTL Faculty Fellow Wayne State University
  2. 2. Quick Check-ins • Name • University Affiliation • Experience as a Blogger or Wiki editor • Special Interests/Questions related to today’s session?
  3. 3. “Web 2.0” Described... Stephen Downes portrays it as a shift quot;from being a medium, in which information is transmitted and consumed, into being a platform, in which content is created, shared, remixed, repurposed, and passed alongquot; (Downes, 2005 quot;E-Learning 2.0,quot; ¶4)
  4. 4. Why Does it Matter for Higher Ed?
  5. 5. Digital Natives & Immigrants Digital Immigrants Concept map by Michel Cartier Digital Natives Where are you on this chart?
  6. 6. David Warlick on Flat Classrooms “Traditional education has been an environment of hills. The teacher could rely on gravity to support the flow of curriculum down to the learners. But as much as we might like to pretend, we (teachers) are no longer on top of the hill. The hill is practically gone. For the first time in history, children are more comfortable, knowledgeable, and literate than their parents about an innovation central to society. (Tapscot) In many cases, students communicate more, construct original content more, and more often collaborate virtually with other people, than do their teachers. Those teachers who pretend to stand on higher ground, appear, to many of their students, to be standing on quicksand.”
  7. 7. The Flattening Classroom
  8. 8. Renovating the Ivory Tower Higher Ed Cartoon by Rand Renfroe
  9. 9. School 1.0
  10. 10. School 2.0
  11. 11. Web 2.0 = More Engaged Learning?
  12. 12. Learning Design Going Forward? KM is a Key Competency New Tools and Processes Image by Bebo White
  13. 13. Wikis
  14. 14. Welcome to the Wonderful World of Wikis • A Wiki is a website • “Wiki” means fast in that allows users to Hawaiian. freely create and edit • Authors do not Web page content, always claim usually in a Web ownership of jointly browser. constructed texts. • Wikis use simple • Wikis provide a formatting rules-- history and anyone Like word processing. can revisit prior • Wikis are published versions of text. online.
  15. 15. Wikis “In Plain English”
  16. 16. A Source of Educational Content • Wikipedia Sample Student • Assignment: 1) Look up • Wikiversity something in the Wikipedia • 2) Do more • Wikibooks Research to Prove it is Correct • • Guidelines for class projects • WSU Class book-writing example
  17. 17. Wikipedia Contributors Regular Contributors to Wikipedia (10 or more edits) 300,000 276,615 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,834 100,000 50,000 30,817 6,005 1,103 156 01 02 03 04 05 06 20 20 20 20 20 20
  18. 18. How Do Educators Use a Wiki?
  19. 19. Some Wiki Activities • A wiki “fan zine” for you favorite author. • A virtual tour of your university. • Collaborative book reviews or author studies. • A course “encyclopedia” on a special topic. • A Wikibook created by a class or group
  20. 20. Free Hosted Wiki Tools • Easy Places for Getting Started: • Wikispaces • Pbwiki • Seedwiki • Wetpaint
  21. 21. Wiki Matrix Comparison Tool 97 Wiki Platforms and Counting
  22. 22. Wiki Editing Syntax Internal Links: CamelCaseLink or [quot;free linkquot;] • Wikitext language or wiki markup is a markup language that offers a simplified alternative to HTML and is used to write pages in wiki websites • Not standardized. Some tools now offer WYSIWYG editors Headlines Format Examples !!!Headline1 h1. Top Level Heading = Headline 1 = !!Headline2 h2. Smaller Heading == Headline 2 == !Headline3 h6. Smallest Heading === Headline 3 ===
  23. 23. PBWiki - an Educator Friendly Starting Place
  24. 24. Overview of PBwiki Interface and Tools
  25. 25. Wiki Best Practice Ideas • Discuss ThreadMode vs DocumentMode writing styles As per the MeatBall Wiki, DocumentMode (typically unsigned, using authoritative voice) “looks like this: Foo is preferable to quuz as a metasyntactic variable because it is shorter and uses the F character, which is earlier in the alphabet than Q and thus better. There are heretics who recommend quuz, but as they are obviously zealots, we can safely ignore them. Rather than this (ThreadMode): I think foo is better than quuz --SomeBody Well, you're wrong. Quuz is far superior. I know because I say. --SomebodyElse ”
  26. 26. Wiki Best Practice Ideas • 1. Make use of features that alert a wiki manager that changes have been made to the wiki. Check regularly to see what changes have been made and by whom. Perhaps assign someone to watch for spam. • 2. Determine whether your wiki should be accessible to the public or be limited to a defined group. Perhaps start private, and go public when the work is more developed. • 3. Be aware of copyright and licensing issues when posting other people’s work. as per “Wiki Wisdom: Lessons for Educators” by Michelle R. Davis
  27. 27. Wiki Best Practice Ideas • 4. Emphasize “digital professionalism” to the community, remind users that it is a document many other people will see. Talk about and make clear what is, and is not, acceptable on the wiki. • Consider providing a Style Manual . See this example from Bemidji State • 5. Especially when using wikis with young students, take steps to prevent users from posting personal information that would reveal their identities.
  28. 28. Try Editing A Page? Editing Password is “wsu”
  29. 29. Blogs in Academia Image from
  30. 30. Blogs in a Nutshell
  31. 31. A Blog is... • A shortened form of the phrase “Web Log” • Like a ship’s log written daily by the captain of a vessel. • A web site that is easily updated by posting short items. • Ordered by date and topic, with newest items at the top. • Often archived for searching and reading later.
  32. 32. Some Typical Blog Features • Comments - now comment spam is becoming a problem • Feeds - others can subscribe to your Blog and read it in a newsreader of their choice • Trackbacks - “pinging” system lets you know when others have commented on your post at their site (use is dropping) • Categories/Tags - often overlapping • Site Search • Permanent Archives - and “permalinks” • Blogroll listing of other related blogs
  33. 33. Blog Content includes • News and Journalism • Education/Pedagogy • Analysis • Humor • Personal Observation and Opinion • “Annotated Bookmarks” • and More...
  34. 34. Topical Examples Politics Medicine Local Story- Photos telling
  35. 35. Topical Examples Sports Cooking Library- Music related
  36. 36. Blog Growth Report Th Tec e S hn tat ora e o ti R • 70 million weblogs Ap f th ep ril e L or 20 ive t 07 We • About 120,000 new weblogs each b day, or... • 1.4 new blogs per second • 3000-7000 new splogs (fake, or spam blogs) created every day • Peak of 11,000 splogs per day last December
  37. 37. Impressive Blog Growth & Posting Rates 60 Million 2 Million Mar 03 Oct 06
  38. 38. Impressive Growth & Posting Rates Aug 04 Nov 05 Feb 07
  39. 39. Easy to Use! Demonstration of Adding a Post in a WordPress Blog
  40. 40. Wiki Listing of Academic Blogs
  41. 41. Some Uses of Blogs by Faculty & Instructors • Content-related blog posts (often longer) as professional practice • Networking and personal knowledge sharing among peers • Research Diary tracking project progress • Source of Instructional Tips for students • Course Announcements and Readings • Annotated links • Knowledge management (outboard brain)
  42. 42. Blog Research Diary Topics • An initial entry that discusses general research interests. • A statement and refinement of the research question. • A preliminary research strategy. • Notes on sources. • Observations. • Free writing. Discovering the focus of the research. • Formal writing. • Presentation.
  43. 43. Higher Ed Online Conference
  44. 44. Topical “Blog Carnivals”
  45. 45. Doctoral Student Blogs
  46. 46. WSU Example: Bill’s Library InterOp Project Blog
  47. 47. Blog Use with Students • Reflective or writing journals • Knowledge management • Assignment submission and review • Dialogue in groupwork • E-portfolios • Share course-related resources or lecture/unit summaries
  48. 48. Example: WSU Student Directed Study
  49. 49. WSU Example - Mame Jackson’s Service Learning Class
  50. 50. SoTL Project Blogs
  51. 51. WSU Teaching and Learning Blog
  52. 52. Free Blogs for Educators and Students
  53. 53. EduBlogs for K-12 students for teachers and trainers for university students for ESL students
  54. 54. EduBlogs Intro Video
  55. 55. Other Free Blog Hosts Good List of 40+ Services
  56. 56. Blogs (and Wikis) are Built into Moodle
  57. 57. Nice Academic Blogging Learning Module Reviews Different Uses of Blogs
  58. 58. Managing Your Blog “Reading List”
  59. 59. RSS Explained
  60. 60. RSS for Educators Explained in a PDF Lots of Examples and Ideas for Use in Teaching • RSS Ideas for Educators.pdf • Quentin D'Souza shares many tools and links via • See the Web 2.0 Wiki he’s got going
  61. 61. One Day on the WWW... uploads/2006/01/rsscomic11a.pdf
  62. 62. Behold The Aggregator!
  63. 63. Behold The Aggregator!
  64. 64. aka RSS Reader
  65. 65. Behold The Aggregator!
  66. 66. Demonstration of Bloglines Aggregator
  67. 67. Some Blog Research Tools • (lots of tools) • Technorati Charts[yourtopic] • • •
  68. 68. Interested in Learning More? • Online “Course” on • Links to Lots more Emerging ideas Technologies for Scholars • “Blog to Teach, Teach to Blog” Course