Blogs and Wikis
Engaging the World of the
Presented by Bill Warters OTL Faculty Fellow
Wayne State University
• University Afﬁliation
• Experience as a Blogger or Wiki editor
• Special Interests/Questions related to
“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)
Digital Natives & Immigrants
Where are you on this chart?
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.
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.”
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,
usually in a Web
ownership of jointly
• Wikis use simple
• Wikis provide a
history and anyone
Like word processing.
can revisit prior
• Wikis are published versions of text.
A Source of
• http://en.wikipedia.org Assignment:
1) Look up
• Wikiversity something in the
2) Do more
• Wikibooks Research to Prove
it is Correct
• Guidelines for class projects
• WSU Class book-writing example
Regular Contributors to Wikipedia (10 or more edits)
Some Wiki Activities
• A wiki “fan zine” for you favorite author.
• A virtual tour of your university.
• Collaborative book reviews or author
• A course “encyclopedia” on a special
• A Wikibook created by a class or group
Free Hosted Wiki Tools
• Easy Places for Getting Started:
97 Wiki Platforms and
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 ===
PBWiki - an Educator
Friendly Starting Place
Wiki Best Practice Ideas
• Discuss ThreadMode vs DocumentMode
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.
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
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.
Try Editing A Page?
Editing Password is “wsu”
Blogs in Academia
Image from http://awd.cl.uh.edu/blog/
A Blog is...
• A shortened form of the phrase
• 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.
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
• 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
Blog Content includes
• News and Journalism
• Personal Observation and Opinion
• “Annotated Bookmarks”
• and More...
Blog Growth Report
e S hn
e o ti R
• 70 million weblogs Ap f th ep
ril e L or
20 ive t
• About 120,000 new weblogs each b
• 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
Impressive Blog Growth &
Mar 03 Oct 06
Impressive Growth & Posting Rates
Aug 04 Nov 05 Feb 07
Easy to Use!
Demonstration of Adding a
Post in a WordPress Blog
Wiki Listing of Academic Blogs
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)
Blog Research Diary Topics
• An initial entry that discusses general research
• A statement and reﬁnement of the research
• A preliminary research strategy.
• Notes on sources.
• Free writing. Discovering the focus of the
• Formal writing.
Higher Ed Online Conference
WSU Example: Bill’s Library
InterOp Project Blog
Blog Use with Students
• Reﬂective or writing journals
• Knowledge management
• Assignment submission and review
• Dialogue in groupwork
• Share course-related resources or
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 TeachingHacks.com
• See the Web 2.0 Wiki he’s got going
One Day on the WWW...
Some Blog Research
• http://technorati.com/widgets (lots of
• Technorati Charts
Interested in Learning More?
• Online “Course” on • Links to Lots more
• “Blog to Teach, Teach
to Blog” Course