Wiki for collaborative projects

The release of the new senior school IT curriculum statement by SSABSA for use in 2007 opens the door to do some things differently that might help IT teachers, in particular those in rural areas. The collaborative development of resources relating to the delivery of this curriculum provides an ongoing professional development activity for those involved. Country teachers could benefit greatly from some collaborative ventures and systems. Wiki is likely to be a very useful tool for some of this work. Wiki is a website that anyone can edit. It is a nice tool to use when collaboratively developing a resource. It can be used in the classroom and also for teachers to work together on the development of learning resources. There are a number of places where we can get a wiki site for free and Moodle (also free) has a wiki tool built into it. I am interested in discussing with participants the idea of the collaborative development of resources and how wiki might help us.

What is wiki?
  • Wiki means quick or fast
  • It is a way to make a website very quickly
  • It is a great tool for collaborative writing

Probably the most known wiki is wikipedia.
Uncyclopedia - beer page (A place to collaborate on total lies and tall stories)

Show Leigh Blackall's 7min video introduction to using Wikispaces
  • Demonstrate how to create a link to a new page and begin editing - WYSIWYG
  • Show text editing as an example of how it must be done with some wiki software - cheat sheet

Wiki can be used for collaborative projects to cater for

Different ways to access a wiki

17/7/2006 - What is a wiki (How to use one for your projects) Using WIki for managing projects. Very useful and practical tips for using a wiki to produce a resource with others.

The section "What It's Like to Use a Wiki" is worth reading in the presentation

The tips on 'Using a wiki' like keep all of the notes on the wiki and non on your local computer. When you have an idea, record it on the wiki as the shared memory is important - the wiki records that memory. There is a need for the collaborators to be precise and not be precious about their edits

  • Wikis are at their best when a small number of people are working intensely on related material. They're messy, immediate, and a powerful way of sharing thinking space with your collaborators.
  • Once you've used a wiki for a project, you'll find it hard to go back to regular methods. You'll find yourself using wiki syntax in emails, and your own WikiWords in conversation. Using the wiki as your notebook will ensure you don't lose the seeds of good ideas, and spending time browsing and gardening will keep those ideas returning when you need them. Most of all, you'll find that having a shared memory on a large project moves the administrivia out of the way and lets you concentrate on the real job.

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