A WIKI-WORKSHOP FOR THE ECE COMMUNITY (Under Construction!!!)

The word "Wiki" comes the Hawaiian word for "fast".

Wikis, like the one you are reading right now, are a great way for a group of educators (and students) to collaborate and share information. They have been termed a "parallel classroom" as you can put information on it and the target audience can use this info to collaborate with off campus. They are not perfect.
They can contain inaccurate information because anyone can contribute. A wiki's greatest strength is also a weakness.


INTRODUCTION
How do you learn about a Wiki? From a wiki, of course. Go read this --
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki

The Commoncraft website has a video demo "Wikis in Plain English " that is a short, explanatory video.

SETTING UP YOUR FIRST WIKI
Obviously we set up this page using Wikispaces. I (WB) first learned of Wikispaces (this service) from my co-teacher Jim Reineke when we set up a Wiki for our summer class at Michigan State University. Have a look at that page -- http://maet2007.wikispaces.com and you can see how valuable it was for our class. Wikis are great when a group of people want to collect knowledge, about any subject. It might be fishing lures or tomato sauces. For older students, it is the equivalent of an academic Facebook. My high school students use it to talk about the childre they work with in my child development classes and the dates and times are amazing to me as I see many of them on the wiki at midnight on a Saturday night (and these are students who are popular or are some who don't like school, etc). In our program, I even have a wiki for parents to use where they type in discussion questions for their children to answer.

Every early childhood classroom (or school or center) should have a Wiki. There are other wiki authoring tools. Let's list a few (help!) along with strengths and weaknesses, for the ECE community.

Peanut Butter Wiki http://www.pbwiki.com
• Google Sites (formerly www.jot.com) http://sites.google.com/
• WikiSpaces http://wikispaces.com

  • Wetpaint www.wetpaint.com-- Very easy to use. Educators used to be able to have ads deleted for free but economic times put halt to that.
*School fusion- relatively new but kind of neat in that kids can rate each other's discussions and teachers can keep track of that.

DOES IT COST ANYTHING TO SET UP A WIKI?
All you need to do is register -- creating a screen name and password. You also need an email account.
You should know how wiki services, like Wikispaces make money. There's basically two ways -- through selling premium services and by selling ads.

SETTING YOUR WIKI PREFERENCES
Wiki administrators can set the level of permissions for the wiki space. This wiki space allows anyone to view, but to edit the space, people need to sign on to wikispaces and request permission to join the space from the organizers.

Using the edit this page button, people can add in text, remove text, cut and paste similar to using other text documents. In the edit mode there is an edit bar that allows for some style choices for fonts, a linking tool, preview and save button, and more.

The discussion tab allows for "behind the scenes" discussions about the collaborative writing/project work.

The history tab allows people to see what actions have been taken, and provides details such as which user added or removed which text, and when this occurred. Go ahead and poke around and explore these links.

The Notify Me page provides notification choices such as receiving an email alert about pages, or via an RSS Feed.

JUMP IN AND MAKE A WIKI
Making a Wiki is easier than making a snack for six kids. Just do it. You'll be amazed at how easy it is. After you make your Wiki, go ahead and share it -- Every Wiki is a work in progress! Make sure to remember your password and screen name. Also be assured that (at least with Wikispaces and Google pages) that it is easy to erase your experimental work.

More great information about wikis can be found on Will Richardson's Weblogged "What's a wiki?" page.

WIKI EXAMPLES
We're collecting examples of ECE related Wikis; either work that you've done, or other examples. Please use this space
http://ecetech.wikispaces.com/Wiki+examples