I’m a big fan of wikispaces. I’ve been using it as I work with the Handbook for eCollaboration that Bernie began with his class last year.
It’s like reliving old times. In 2003, I worked in the technology lab on campus. I helped him with the settings of his PM Wiki, and learned on the fly along with the rest of the EdGames class as we tried wiki for the first time. Later it became a side project of mine as Bernie and I tried (in vain) to get the EdGames Wiki off the ground. That software, PM Wiki, was clunky, and took some coaxing to get the formatting right. Wikispaces uses a visual editor that makes links, lists, and formats easy and intuitive. I’d say I even like its editor more than my beloved WordPress.
I certainly like it more than mediawiki, the software that runs the Wikipedia. And it seems better for teachers than PBWiki, another good software. Wikispaces provides free wikis for educators.
Last semester’s class did a review of different Web 2.0 software. Each student authored their own article and edited two other student’s articles. We’re going to do the same again this year. (I’ve got a few good 2.0 examples to use, but appreciate any suggestions in the links.)
My wish is that the students get involved with the wiki. I’m trying to encourage it as much as I can by “seeding” the wiki with a few obvious places where it needs the group’s help.
I have a list of about 50 terms that I’ve added to the site. These terms come from what I’m planning to cover in my online lectures. I know it’s not a language class, but I’m still a language teacher at heart and vocabulary is a big part of software literacy. I’d like to hear them able to talk intelligently about feedreaders, the blogosphere. I think they need understand the importance of teachers watching the recent changes page of a wiki if they’re going to use one with their students.
I thought I’d put up the list and introduce it to the class as part of a group document. Each term can be defined by the group. It’s a place where they can add their knowledge to the handbook. The idea of a group knowledge management system fascinates me. The kickoff session starts July 28. I’m really getting excited about it.