These are my notes from Julie Lindsey‘s presentation, “Wikis For The Collaborative Classroom” at the Learning 2.011 Conference in Shanghai on September 9, 2011. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

When creating a free wiki on Wikispaces as an educator, remember to create it from the FREE WIKISPACES FOR EDUCATORS page.

FlexFluid is Julie’s favorite default template to use/work with on WikiSpaces.

Themes on WikiSpaces

Remember to use HEADINGS because they also work with auto-generated “table of contents” widgets on your wiki.

Relatively new feature of WikiSpaces is the “cloud” icon next to the “text T” used to add comments. You must be in “edit mode” to add comments. (THIS REMINDS ME OF COMMENTING OPTIONS IN GOOGLE DOCS. GREAT TO SEE THIS AS AN AVAILABLE OPTION IN WIKISPACES!)

Add Comment - WikiSpaces

Comments are added in the sidebar of the wiki and also automatically added under the discussion tab of the wiki page. Remember if students can edit the wiki, they can delete your comments! This is an example of when digital citizenship conversations are important!

Now showing the HISTORY tab. Remember you can revert to past edits.

Wiki History Page Example

To revert a wiki you must be an ORGANIZER. Generally you make your students MEMBERS of a class wiki rather than an ORGANIZER. It’s very helpful to use the history to compare versions and see what’s been added and deleted to a wiki page over time.

Comparing Revision Versions in WikiSpaces

At our school we use wikis for student portfolios of work. (We’ll be looking at examples later in this session.)

Tip for using “tags” on a wiki, have students add the tag “complete” to pages students have completed which are ready for grading. Add tags by clicking the PAGE link at the top and choosing TAGS from the drop down.

Add Tags to a WikiSpaces Page

The widget “embed a list of pages” can be used to show ONLY pages with a specific tag. This can be used to assist in grading also.

Embed a List of Pages

“Embed Contents of a Wiki Page” widget can be used to include a header or announcement on all the pages of a wiki. This is great to include that info so it’s not editable by students, but you can have that info on all your pages.

Add heading to WikiSpaces page

This same widget can be used to “modularize” a wiki page. This requires some work in advance, but the benefit is students can be simultaneously editing different modules or parts of the same wiki page. This helps address “wiki war” issues when students may be editing the same page at the same time.

Now we’ll talk a bit about using wikis for digital portfolios. This is a site we’re updating now with pages and links for student digital portfolios.

Small but growing “hall of fame” page of student wikis:

You can favorite individual pages on a wiki by clicking the star in the upper right corner, it is also added to your navigation bar under Favorites.

Favorite a wiki page on WikiSpaces

Our school uses and pays for WikiSpaces Private Label, which gives us great site admin features, ability to reset passwords, etc.


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2 Responses to Wikis For The Collaborative Classroom

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  2. T A Powers says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have been following your blog for awhile now and I find it very informative. We tried to set up a Wikispace for one of my classes and ended up switching to google.doc because we were having a hard time with it. This cleared up alot of questions. Thank You!

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