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E. D.

Patarakin

Social services of Web 2.0


for teaching and learning

Moscow 2006

1
UDK 373.5.02:004.738.5
BBK 74.202.4
P20
P20 Patarakin E D
Social Services Web 2.0 for teaching and learning/ E.D. Patarakin –
М: Intuit.ru, 2006. – 64 с. : il. - (Teaching methods handbook)
ISBN 5-9556-0088-4
This handbook describes ways of using modern network services, in particular WikiWiki.
WikiWiki is full of topics, programmes and articles which give us a new insight and help
to instil tolerance, balanced judgement and environmental awareness. Various uses of
WikiWiki in teaching are considered, the rules of editing and creating Wiki-documents
are described, together with examples of typical mistakes. Supplementary add-ons are
presented which allow you to calculate, create graphs, and fill the hypertext vacuum with
graphics and audio material. The practical guidance given is based on material created by
an educational network community of schoolchildren, students, school teachers and
teachers of higher education institutes. In 2006 this community has been working
on a hypertext-rich encyclopaedia of Russian towns and cities. This hypertext
encyclopaedia, Letopisi.ru is being created uder the sponsorship of the Intel corporation
and the joint-stock company “TransTeleKom”. Their task is to give schoolchildren,
students and teachers an opportunity to work (and play) collectively and to experiment
with new social services. Letopisi is a teaching project, within the framework of which
teachers, students and schoolchildren learn not only how to use new technology but also
different ways of working. Above all we are playing a game of educational Wikipedia and
are learning to create a collective hypertext which the collective authors collate and use to
describe the historical events in Russian cities, towns, villages and settlements during
2006. We are counting on the active support of all those who think seriously about the
role of science and education in the modern world, or who are engaged in the
development of research activity for pupils across the curriculum. The author of this
handbook, Yevgeniy Dmitriyevich Patarakin, is an expert in setting up collaborative net-
based educational groups, and the author of the monograph “Network communities and
education". In 2006 he defended his doctoral dissertation "Exploiting creative and
educational opportunities offered by IT to net-based groups". The handbook is intended
for those who work in educational establishments and for all those who want to use
technology to help us think and work together. Intel Corporation Intel © 2006. All rights
reserved. Intel® and the trade mark «Intel» are trade marks or the registered trade marks
of the Intel Corporation and its divisions in the USA and other countries. Other names
and trade marks are the property of the lawful owners.
ISBN 5-9556-0088-4

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Table of contents
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Networking communities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Teaching and learning within network communities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Social services of Web 2.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………….. . .7
Web services and the herd mentality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 8
Hypertext – a means of collective activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Examples of networking communities based on web services.. . . .. . . . .. . 12
Delicious (social bookmarking). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Flickr (photo management & sharing) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Blog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
WikiWiki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
The Wiki project letopisi.ru («Time to return home») . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Reading letopisi (annals/chronicles). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Special features of MediaWiki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Registration of participants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Creation and discussion of articles. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Assorted mistakes in the naming of articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Writing of articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Assorted mistakes in the writing of articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Syntax and marking rules in MediaWiki. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
On-line editing of articles in MediaWiki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Categories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Templates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Adding to MediaWiki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Audio recordings of Letopis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Insertion of graphs into Letopis using GraphVis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Displaying links between articles in Letopis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Letopis at 1st November 2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Discussions of project Letopis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

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Introduction

”The most important thing is that the human spirit, irrespective of the vast diversity of its
physical embodiment, reveals its distinct and comprehensible structure, just as the
process of two-way thinking, parallel thoughts influencing each other, develops, either of
which could be the wick or the spark and bringing the two together creates ignition. And
if the resulting flash breaks out beyond the darkness,there will be no need for executors
of the law to share out property, since from the very beginning it was deemed inalienable
and not for sharing."
Claude Lévi-Strauss
20th Century Anthropologist

Computer communications today form a new field of information culture in which the
life of contemporary society operates. Networks create a new social definition of our
communities, the spread of “network logic” significantly affects the changes in
developments and outcomes in manufacturing, daily life, culture and authority. The job
of education is developing a personality,which is competitive and knowledgeable about
the electronic information arena.This is fully justified, if in seeking to do these things we
turn to computer and network disciplines to help us. One of the main trends in
educational development in this regard consists in updating the way educational activity
is organised. In educational practice today the formation of networked, decentralized,
training models has a low profile, but it is precisely these network technologies that will
prepare the ground for these models. In 2005 an educational network community of
school teachers and lecturers in teacher training and higher education colleges—
participants1 in the Intel ® programme “Training for the future”, worked on the creation
of a digital map of Russian cities. The project assumed open-access use of publicly
available network services and a variety of games and educational programmes using
mobile technology. Such devices as handheld computers, GPS navigators, mobile
telephones, video cameras, digital cameras and other systems with integrated
functionality.

In 2006 the efforts of the educational community are being concentrated on the creation
of the hypertext encyclopedia open and accessible for all interested participants at
http://Letopisi.ru. The Letopisi.ru project is based on the technology of WikiWiki, which
has received widespread popularity thanks to the worldwide encyclopedia Wikipedia.
Letopis uses the same principles and the same WikiEngine – MediaWiki
(http://www.mediawiki.org).

For the first time in Russia’s cyberspace a project is going ahead, inconceivable without
this network or IT support. This project is based on modern theories of collective
knowledge acqusition and teaching.
1
Patarkin E.A., Bikhovskiy Ya.S., Yastrebseva E.N., Geocaching, Geotagging, flickr, Wiki-Wiki, Web-
blogs and LiveJournal in education: A new generation of training projects of city streets and networked
societies. Moscow Institute of Development of Educational Technologies, 2005, 36 c

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Networking communities
A network community is a group of people in contact with each other, carrying on some
joint activity by means of computer networks. The computer network (the Internet), the
network of documents (the worldwide web) and the software (web services) link not only
the computers and documents but also the people who use these documents and services.
Thanks to these network communications new social entities are spontaneously formed.
Such communities cannot be specially planned, organised or created to order. We can
only create the conditions to facilitate the formation of such communities. Thanks to
networking support these communities, dedicated to exchanging knowledge, have new
opportunities for presenting their digital archives and for attracting new members. With
the development of computer technologies, these communities which exchange ideas
develop new forms of information storage and new programme services making
manipulation of this knowledge easier and helping beginners on the periphery of the
community to use this knowledge.

Networking community = the actions of individual participants


+ communication exchange + web services

The network communities world is full of items, on-line users and situations which help
us to think in a new fashion and to develop within ourselves tolerance, and a critical and
ecologically sound viewpoint. Network communities can assist in teaching the following
skills:

• Common Viewpoints. Everything we think, create or learn has fundamentally a


collective, interlinked basis. The transition from an egocentric position to understanding
the roles and values of other people and other ways of perceiving reality is an important
stage in the psychological development of a person.

• Tolerance. It is important for us to educate people, so that they are capable of looking at
events from other points of view, and under standing not only other people, but also other
ways of being. The widening of our horizons through information technologies, means
that we communicate more and more with people from previously unfamiliar social
backgrounds and strata. More and more we find ourselves working alongside on-line
users in these network activities. We should be ready to understand them and to talk to
them.

• Development of decentralized models and an environmental strategy. Participating


in a joint venture does not mean being in the same place at the same time. Every member
of the community can make his, or her, specific contribution to the job . This new pattern
of network interaction can be used to teach students ideas of decentralization and
ecological strategy.

• Criticality of thought. Collective inter-communication with lots of on-line users ready


to criticise and radically change an idea, is critical in identifying mistakes, checking
hypotheses and debunking theories. We can teach students about critical thinking, and
then we can put them in an environment where critical discussion is obligatory.

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Teaching and learning within network communities
There are sufficient grounds to assert that the reason so much time is devoted at school to
external "discipline”, marks and awards, the transition from class to
class or lagging behind, is so that attention should not linger on the really hard
stuff - creating situations in life where facts, ideas, principles and problems can
be put into perspective.”

John Dewey “Democracy and Education”

The teaching aspect of network communities is a rapidly developing branch of


educational theory. This is based on the following key assumptions:

The training is defined by the tools and objects which the pupil uses. Work on any
topic requires communication. This communication in terms of the work and the topic
being worked on has crucial training value for learning. Just how important the means are
which we use to do the work we do has been written about, most notably by John Dewey,
and he has given this notion the name “instrumentalism”.. The ideas of instrumentalism,
developed by this American philosopher and the teacher, are often enough represented
only by the phrase “learning through action”, forgetting that John Dewey always reflected
on actions within the context of human culture. The most important component of
learning for Dewey was seen as activity, which would be directed towards the
achievement of real, concrete results through the use of appropriate materials, means and
technologies.

Learning is defined by the environment, in which there is a development of new


knowledge. Ivan Illich was the first to formulate a concept of teaching at the local
community level using local data systems. He was not so much interested in the aims of
education as in the content of the educational environment. I. Illich has listed, and
examined in detail, the resources and the services necessary for successful functioning of
an educational network community within a city:
teaching resources, which include books, environmental activities, educational games,
resources for encouraging the activity concerned; setting examples to be copied and a
system which supports an exchange of practical skills and abilities; partners with which it
would be possible to compete, cooperate, argue and speak the same sort of language. The
notion of friendly working links is closely associated with the idea of a teaching web as a
medium for communal, collective learning. For an individual it is vital not simply to
understand and use information, but to act upon it, regarding the end result as a reward
for one’s actions.
Learning occurs within a community of knowledge exchange, where beginners
gradually become experts through practical participation in the resolution of problems
within a specific field of knowledge. The terms “community of practice” and
“community of knowledge exchange” were used for the first time by J Lavas and
E.Venger to designate a group of people involved in joint activity. Knowledge acquisition
cannot be separated off from the conditions and situation in which it occurs. To achieve

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mastery, it is not enough simply to receive the knowledge and to start to use it. It is also
necessary to appreciate the culture in which this knowledge is used. Teaching, to a
significant extent, is a process of socialisation during which people study to speak, read,
write, become schoolboys, employees of office, researchers, etc. The activity,
fundamental ideas and culture are in mutual coexistence. They form the three sides of a
triangle. Not one of the sides can be understood without the other two sides.

Social services of Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is the second generation of network services operating on the Internet. Unlike
the first generation of services, Web 2.0 allows users to work jointly using these services,
to exchange information, and also to work with mass publications (on the basis of web
add-on’s of these services). The term Web 2.0 is conventionally linked to Tim O’Reilly’s
article “What Is Web 2.0” dated 30th September 2005, published in Russian for the first
time in the magazine "Computerra" (37 (609) and 38 (610)) and then laid out under the
heading “What is Web 2.0” on the web-site “Computerra online” In this article Tim
O’Reilly connected the occurrence of the large number of sites linked by certain common
principles, with the overall developmental trend of the Internet-community, and has
named this phenomenon Web 2.0, as opposed to the "old" Web 1.0. (Source: Article
“Web 2.0” in Wikipedia.ru.

Web services of Web 2.0 — These are modern methods, with the network software
supporting group interactions. These group activities include:

• personalised actions of the participants: the recording of ideas and thoughts (Blog or
WikiWiki); notes and annotation of somebody else’s texts (Blog, del.icio.us); storage of
media files – flikr (photos), uTube (videoclips), podcasts (radio broadcasts)

• creation of thematic sites based on the geonavigation system Google Maps.

• communication between participants: messenger, email, chat, forums, blog


commentaries, video Skype conferencing.

The software supports spontaneous development of communities which are not set up
under instruction from above, but developed from below through the efforts of a group
of completely independent participants. Members of a social network can, through their
own modest efforts, create or choose a selection of the most interesting articles, photos or
audio recordings.

Web services + the modest activities of participants +


communication exchange = networking community

Membership of a community is voluntary, its reputation is based on the trust of individual


participants of the community, and the direction and tasks of the community are
determined by the behaviour of its constituent members. It is not to the benefit of the

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community if somebody uses their powers of reason and the information services
exclusively for personal ends. In such a case that person is merely cataloguing his own
ideas, records and bookmarks to which others do not have access. It is even worse if
someone uses these IT opportunities only for chattering. In this case he wastes his own
and others’ intellect and time on chat. Web services and activity within network
communities provide the following teaching opportunities:

• the use of open, free and independent electronic resourses. As a result of the
expansion of Web services, there is a huge quantity of materials available on the Web
which can be used for educational purposes. Network knowledge exchange communities
can share collections of digital items and educational programmes.

• independently created networked teaching materials. New public utility services


have considerably simplified the process of creating materials and their publication in a
network. Now everyone can not only get access to digital databases, but also take part in
the formation of their own network content. Nowadays new content is created by millions
of people. Working like ants in an ant hill they bring in new texts, photos, figures and
musical files to a network.

• Developing IT familiarisation, knowledge and skills. The world of websites and their
derivatives provides new opportunities for activity in which people without any special
knowledge in the field of computer science can become very easily involved. New ways
of working include searching for information on the web as well as putting together and
editing one’s own digital items—texts, photos, programs, musical records, videoclips.
Participation in these new forms of activity enables people to people to become skilled IT
operators—manipulating texts and codes, using meta tags, etc.

• Tracking progress in the work of members of a network. The Internet provides new
opportunities for the participation of schoolchildren in professional scientific
communities. Digital memory, the network and its users expand enormously not only our
powers of thinking, but also the parameters for collective activity and cooperation with
other people.

Web services and the herd mentality


New web services in Web 2.0 have considerably simplified the process of creating
materials and publishing them on the Internet. Now everybody can not only get access to
digital databases but can also take part in the formation of their own network content.
Today new content is created by millions of people. Working collectively like ants in an
ant hill they bring new texts, photographs, drawings and music files to the network.
Communication is less and less an exchange of words between people, but rather
everyone keeping up with network developments. The development of new methods
leads us not only to solve new problems, but also changes our outlook, and allows us to
see the world from a new point of view. Using web services which enables us to create
network content and to keep track of what’s happening in the immediate surroundings of
the network environment, leads to decentralisation of network content. Communication

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between people more often occurs not in the form of a direct exchange of words, but in
the form of mutual observation of what’s happening on the network. Various forms of
communication, such as e-mail, distribution lists, forums and chat rooms, have allowed
users to communicate. However these communications never received the same status as
a network document. In chats and forums users have an opportunity to refer to external
sources, but there is no opportunity to refer directly across to a message published inside
of a chat room or forum. The way content was displayed provided no avenue for
discussion, and discussion had no means of displaying content. Within modern web
services, for example WikiWiki, Flikr, del.icio.us and others, activity and dialogue are
closely connected2.

These services were not created specially for dialogue. They were created so that people
could interact with programmes, create new items, and store things inside the new items
and recordings. Blogs, WikiWiki, recording bookmarks, photographs and documents may
all be used for individual purposes. However, it’s just a small step from such personal use
to the creation of a community. Those working on a joint venture do not need to be in the
same place and at the same time. Every member of a community can make his own
contribution. This new model of network interaction can be used in student teaching for
development by pupils of ideas of decentralisation and environmental strategy. Within
these new strands of thinking, the development of which has become possible due to the
evolution of computers and computer programmes, we must define what is meant by
environmental. Mitchel Resnick cites the following characteristics of these strategies.3

Environmental strategies respond to local conditions. A decision is


made on the basis of local data, instead of on the basis of the
decisions taken centrally. As conditions vary, ecological strategy takes
these changes into consideration; these changes also lead to new
decisions resulting from these changes. A preconceived plan does not
exist, and decisions vary from time to time. Many ecological
strategies assume a network approach based on the contribution of
many individuals, instead of on centralized management.. Ecological
strategies do not translate to school curricula. They are very seldom
invoked even in biology lessons and are even more rare as a basis for
an ecological approach to problem-solving Using environmental
strategies in teaching assumes not only changes to curricula, but also
changes in the mindset of teachers, students and course developers.
It is paradoxical, but the use of computer and network technologies
can help people to think seriously about the environment.

2
Patarkin E D Crowd network interaction, Educational Technology & Society, 2005.
3
Resnick M. Turtles, termites, and traffic jams: explorations in massively parallel

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microworlds, MIT Press, 1997.

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People need greater experience of interaction with decentralized systems. This experience
can be gained inside modern network communities. If you want to understand
environmental strategies inside out, you have to experience an ecosystem from the inside,
to be a part of it. Therefore it is very important to organise environmental studies for
pupils as it relates to the life and experience of the environment of these same pupils,
who are a part of it. Generally, the simpler the rules for individual behaviour, the more
complex the characteristic behaviour of the whole group.

One of the most well-known and often demonstrated computer models of crowd
behaviour is the way flocks of birds or shoals of fish come together. In the beginning each
creature is seen to be moving randomly, but gradually, under the influence of
environmental determinants, there emerges a flock/shoal, with what observers perceive to
be a leader. Each flock member does their own thing according to simple rules; their
actions are constantly repeated; actions of each flock member are influenced by
behaviour in the immediate vicinity. One of the most simple and accessible environments
for development of ecological thinking now is hypertext space. As opposed to writing an
ordinary story or a book, when using hypertext technologies we come across fragments of
the text which are in constant modification. If we had 10 paragraphs on a page, each of
which referred to a certain person and could reflected his condition and current point of
view, we could have a constantly changing text incorporating a variety of points of view.
Users of the WikiWiki medium carry out simple actions, the results of which are complex
phenomena, the existence of which was impossible to predict before the advent of multi-
user systems. There is insufficient overlap in what transpire for crowd phenomena to
occur in WikiWiki. For self-regulating behavioural phenomena to exist, there must be the
opportunity to see the results of how one’s closest neighbour behaves and an opportunity
to substantially change one’s own behaviour to conform to one’s immediate surroundings.
WikiWiki is very useful in enabling network activity, intended for creating common-
access hypertext. Unfortunately, the number of accessible and widespread systems
dedicated to enabling network cooperation, is very small. WikiWiki is rather successful
and stands as an example. When one takes part in creating hypertext, it is possible to
understand the principles of collective activity more deeply. WikiWiki is a self-regulating
network system which is suitable for developing environmentally-conceived strategies.
When people work together in network associations, they frequently betray the elements
of crowd behaviour. Nobody supervises the actions of individual players, but group
behaviour comes about as a result of the way they complex behave individually.
Encyclopedias of collective authorship, which already exist in the modern electronic
hypertext environment, national reference organisations and Living Journals are
examples of associations incorporating crowd behaviour. In each of the services already
meantioned users carry out simple actions which lead to complex behaviour. The
electronic hypertext environment was initially intended for a fast and effective exchange
of messages and for the creation of new messages.

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Hypertext – a means of collective activity
Hypertext is any text in which can be found any
kind of reference to other texts or text fragments

An example is the Bible — the Book of Books was written as hypertext with plenty of
cross-references to chapters and lines of a document, where different events are described
at the same time by a group of authors. From a technical point of view a hypertext system
is an information system, capable of storing information in the form of electronic text,
allowing electronic communications between any “sources of information” stored in its
memory. Special mechanisms and rules allow a computer to support references from one
set of text fragments to other sets. The “user” or the program agent can establish new
communications between text fragments.

The prototype of the hypertext set-up, the Memex system, which Vannaver Bush
described in an article “as though it could think”, put forward a system for exchanging
basic units of cultural change. Hypertext was initially considered by its founders as a
system of social activity. A group of interconnected messages formed a network, and this
hypertext network of documents supported a social network of relationships between a
community of authors of the collective hypertext. This is how Bush described the
principles of a hypertext system: “When a user builds an associative chain between two
documents he initiates the name of a chain in the book of codes. These stored chains can
be accessible to the user at any time. They form an absolutely new book which is stored
inside Memex and can be retrieved from its memory even after many years. Entirely new
types of encyclopedias are springing up containing chains of documents. There is a new
profession of virtual pathfinders who find pleasure in the creation and construction of
useful routes through a mass of ordinary data.”

Douglas Engelbart and his group have concentrated their efforts on providing and
increasing intellectual opportunities for groups of people. Engelbart’s work has always
been directed towards the use of software for increasing and expanding cooperative
opportunities for group working, expanded opportunities for recording items in the
collective memory and, most importantly, considerably simplified ways of transferring
recorded items within a network community. Engelbart considers the relations between
people and programs as a heterogeneous collectivity in which changes affect all those
involved in the system.

Теd Nelson, a follower of Engelbart, worked on the creation of a general system of


electronic publications and a general archive. It was Nelson who suggested the term
"hypertext" and did much to ensure that the concepts surrounding hypertext received
wide circulation. He repeatedly emphasized that hypertext, in his understanding, is not a
hierarchical structure. From his point of view, the equals sign, which is put between the
concepts of "hierarchy" and "structure", represents a popular myth. Nelson sees hypertext
as a multi-agent community inside which there are complex but not hierarchical
relationships between agents.

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Tim Berners-Lee described the World Wide Web as an abstract information space. The
web is a useful network because people are actually interested in the information
although they don’t want to know anything about the wires and computers. The web
exists, because programmes work and support information interchange between
computers. At the beginning of his work on the creation of the World Wide Web, Berners-
Lee described it as a common information space in which people could communicate and
share information. We can use computers to analyze these relationships, to find sense in
our activities and to find the best methods for working together.

Examples of network communities based on web services


The following network communities serve as examples of mass organizations resulting
from these new providers of information:

• Network communities supporting free and popularly chosen classifying of items.


Among such collective storehouses the most popular today are del.icio.us and flikr.

• Network communities based on Blog technology, the most familiar to Russian-speaking


users is the LiveJournal (Живой Журнал) project.

• Encyclopedias of collective authorship based on WikiWiki technology. The prime


example is Wikipedia.org.

Delicious
The web service Delicious allows users to store a collection of bookmarks and references
on web-pages. The title of the service originates from the English name of the web-site
Del.icio.us. Any user of the Internet can find on Delicious a reference to themes which
interest them, by using search keywords. The registered user, surfing the Internet, can
leave a reference on the system to the web-pages which have interested him or her. This
is almost the same as is done with conventional bookmarks. Differences are as follows:

• references/bookmarks can be added using any computer connected to the Internet.

• references/bookmarks are accessible from any computer connected to the Internet.

• Each contribution should be annotated with one or several tags or label-categories. The
user is given the opportunity to select one or even several tags to each contribution which
will describe its contents. If the piece which you are going to add, is already in someone
else’s body of work you will be offered a selection of identifiable tags. Tags can be
displayed in the form of a list or a graphic display.

Individual collections of pieces sent to web-pages forms a part of the communal


collection which participants of a network of Delicious users can access. As soon as a
person adds a label to an item, he/she has an opportunity to use the label by searching
his/her own items and the items submitted by other users of this service. After you have

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connected a label with an object you can immediately see how many other people have
used the same tag and how your labels are cross-referenced. You can choose to annotate
your labels or not, to affect the group norm concerning labels or objects. Such feedback
leads to communications between users by means of metadata.

Delicious may be used in educational practice as follows:

As a source of training materials. The storage system of submissions presupposes


interaction by users. You can conduct a search of interesting references not only within
your own pieces of work, but also inside all those which all users of the Delicious web
service have placed on a remote server. The system allows one to subscribe to all or only
certain categories of subject material which have been created by other authors or whole
groups of authors. The system allows users to find interesting information in the most
unexpected places and benefit from the experience of people who have already searched
for similar objects.

As a reference bank for teaching materials. Teachers can jointly conduct a search of
required materials.

For solving classification problems. To each submitted item its owner can add a name, a
brief description and keywords (metacategories) - for further clarification or searching.

Knowledge maps. Additional web services allow us to see pieces which have been
submitted as knowledge and interest maps.

Flickr
Flickr (http://Flickr.com) — a web service intended for storing and future personal or
communal use of digital photographs. Flickr categorises using labels. The service allows
all users to exchange photographs and to share their photographs and labels. The use of
labels on the photographs brings immediate advantages by making it much easier to
search for them. Any user of the Internet can find a photo on Flickr by using search
keywords. For example, a search using the keyword "bat" will bring us the list of
references to all photos of bats to which their owners have attached this label-category.
Users of the service can place their own photos on the server. To each photo should be
added a name, a brief description and keywords – labels for further searching.

It is possible to add notes on the photographs themselves. If there is more than one item
(for example, several buildings) in a photo, it is possible to select any of the objects
represented and add a description to it. To use flickr, only access to the Internet and a
browser is required. The flickr web service can be used for teaching purposes in the
following fashion:

• A source of training materials. The majority of photos are placed on Flickr under a
Creative Commons licence. This licence allows images to be used for creative, non-
commercial purposes.

14
• A bank of training materials, archiving photos and the students’ creative work . Any
registered user can place up to 20MB per month on the remote server.

• A method of solving classification problems. The owner of each photo can add a
name, a brief description and keywords for further searching.

• A means for studying knowledge maps. It is possible to add notes to the photos
themselves. If there are different objects in a photo (for example, some buildings), it is
possible to select any of the objects represented and to add a description. Drawings or
photos can serve as a knowledge map and one or more pupils can add their own
interpretation.

• As a collective teaching aid for pupils from several schools or cities. For example, a
network community of teachers in 2005, supported by the Intel ® programme “Training
for the Future”, placed a collection of digital photos and stories representing Russian
cities on the server Flickr.com. It was agreed, between the members of the community, to
add the keyword “vintel” to the digital photos taken in the cities and intended for
collective use. Using this keyword will give access to all the photos jointly collected.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/vintel/.

• Familiarity with databases and mobile GPS receivers. Exact GPS co-ordinates of the
place where the photo is taken can be added as labels. Users who have marked the photos
with labels that are geotagged, geo:lat=coordinate, geo:long=coordinate will receive a
card from the geobloggers service on which the photos are placed. Every digital photo is
logged in terms of time and place. As a result of the joint efforts of vintel community
members, a digital map of Russia with photos from many different cities is gradually
being formed.

Blog
The term “blog” derives from the English expression Web-logging or blogging - an input
to the World Wide Web in which a person adds his or her own collection of records. As a
rule, these are personal thoughts, much like a diary. There are often references to other
resources, published on the internet, within these records. Each message published as a
blog, has its own URL — the address to which messages may be sent. This reference
plays an important part in the establishment of relationships between people and
messages. If a message didn’t have a reliable network address then it wouldn’t have the
status of a network document. It would be impossible to cross-refer to such messages
from other network documents, as it couldn’t be traced. Ease and clarity of publication of
everyday items in a network diary have produced a tide of new authors. Furthermore, it
was discovered that people read these notes, not published as advertisements or for self-
promotion, with great interest. The clarity and availability of blog has captured the
interest of many researchers who consider it as a sort of personal educational space.
Blogs are in reverse date order, the latest being on top. To use the blog system all that is
necessary is access to the Internet and a desire to present the information. As a rule, the

15
author of a blog is one person. Authors of several blogs are often united in a social
network, copy records to each other and leave responses and marginal notes in each
other’s diaries. The network is used for different purposes:

• Blogs are a kind of personal information organiser which store submitted items. They
are for writing and expressing one’s thoughts using a computer.

• Blogs are a means of recording events from one’s own professional or private life. This
can be done for oneself, family or friends. Many consider that this is more convenient
than a mass mailshot by e-mail.

• Blogs can be used as a working medium for the network community. Such use of blogs
is quite justified as many blogs have additional advantages over other forums: e.g. an
opportunity to publish multimedia and HTML-fragments in the text of the message, and
also for cross communications between several lines of discussion.

LiveJournal serves as an example of the use of blogs as a framework for a collective


undertaking. It is an example of the successful use of blog technology. This web service
is hugely popular in Russia.

Each user or each community of LiveJournal forms their own page for new messages.
Each such page forms a news stream in RSS format. The subscription to news from any
page of LiveJournal resembles a ribbon of friends. To add a person to the list of friends
inside LJ is no more difficult than subscribing to the news posted by that person in the
network diary. As a result of the increase in “added friends” or subscribers on RSS-
updatings of news streams, an LJ, so-called "friend-ribbon", is formed. This is a page of
news to which the person concerned has subscribed. Various mechanisms exist for
searching for friends on LJ. Firstly, there is search by keywords, used by people to
indicate their interests. Remember, that keywords — the basic search mechanism in LJ,
allow people to find others with similar interests to each other and to form groups.
Secondly, there is a search through the list of those whom your friends have already noted
as their friends. “Any friend of yours is a friend of mine”. Thirdly, there is the
introduction of a newcomer, known to an experienced LJ author, to a group of friends.
For this purpose special messages “look who has arrived” are published and the new LJ
member simply chooses friends from the list of readers. Sometimes a group of people
come together to form a community within LJ. Members within this community can
publish their messages as part of the common stream of news items.

The LiveJournal web service may be used for teaching purposes as follows:

• a platform for pedagogical discussions. A group of LiveJournal users can create an


open or closed forum for educational discussions. For discussing the organising of
network teaching projects using web services software and, in particular, the organisation
of inter-regional projects using GPS-receivers in LJ, there is a special group « Virtual
Intel » — vintel. Initially the group was exclusive and admittance was purely on the basis

16
of the consent of the community administrator. Later the decision to open access to all
comers was taken.

• An opportunity to get advice and additional knowledge. Thanks to the inclusive


nature of practitioners within LJ, access is not only for specialists but also for teachers
and students. For discussions on the construction of network communities, a special
community “lyubitelisoobsh” (community supporters) has been created incorporating the
work of experts on network technologies, software developers and IT managers.

• A platform for the organisation of distance learning courses. Whilst running the
distance learning course “Construction of network communities” in 2004, lyubitelisoobsh
was used as the basic reference for further work. Lecture materials were posted here,
questions were asked and discussions took place. Simultaneously, course participants
tried to work in the Virtual Learning Environment — VLE. The LiveJournal medium has
turned out to be significantly more convenient both for teachers and for pupils.

• Official (and not so official) working records of heads and teachers. As a rule,
pupils and teachers meet up within the school environment when both sides go through
the teaching/learning ritual, as ordained by society. What are the worries of the teacher
and the principal behind the walls of a conventional, real life school? Through the
technology of LiveJournal the teacher and the head can give pupils and their parents
access to a world of informal teaching.

• School diaries of the 21st Century. For many schoolchildren keeping network diaries
has become standard practice. It is also a very important opportunity for the teacher to see
what goes on in the pupils’ lives. In 1998, as part of the international educational project
“Virtual Classroom”, a school project called “One day in the life of a schoolboy » was
written. The project asked pupils from different countries of the world to describe via the
net how their school day went. At that time it demanded significant technical resources.
With the development of technology like LiveJournal carrying out such projects has
ceased to be thought of as such a difficult undertaking. We can get to know what’s
happening to our pupils by observing their network activity.

“ Why are you asking me about my studies?! You read my LJ”

© - anya_iojik

17
WikiWiki
« People study better when they are involved in the creation of
something specific and they have objectives for activity that they can
reflect on».
Seymour Papert

The term WikiWiki comes from the Hawiain word meaning “quickly-quickly”. WikiWiki
(wiki) is a collection of interconnected recorded items. The founder of the technology,
Ward Cunningham, named the environment WikiWiki because of the fast hypertext
interaction.

Using WikiWiki, a person doesn’t need to know the programming commands of the
hypertext language. The text of any article or page of recorded items is interpreted by the
program as hypertext. The special Wiki checking device looks through the texts of all
pages before they get to the browser. This checker looks through the text of a page in
search of patterns. If a match is found, the device checks whether there is already a page
with such a name in the database. If there is then it makes a reference on that page. If
such a page does not exist then reference is made to the creation of a new page with that
name. Wiki adopts a different approach to constructing new pages to the one we are
familiar with when it comes to web-sites. Every new definition is entered, and then
explained. WikiWiki has come up with a radically new pattern of communal hypertext
use where the opportunity to create and edit any recording is given to each of the
members of a network community. WikiWiki can be used for various purposes:

• as a personal information manager;

• As a means for organising teamwork on collaborative projects. WikiWiki is an


electronic board on which the whole group can write;

• As a database – a repository of collective experience. WikiWiki is a system which


provides a simple and accessible way of hypertext creation for both individual and
collective writing. When this occurs, the writer or the group of writers are not distracted
by HTML-coding and cross-referencing the various parts of the text. For this, special
programmes are used. It is noteworthy that Ward Cunningham, the author of WikiWiki
technology, was previously involved in programming the HyperCard system and has
been adept at applying the hypertext technology. The philosophy and technology of
WikiWiki is similar to that used by Ted Nelson, who coined the word "hypertext.

Hypertext technologies help to formulate ideas, whereas representational technologies


help to visualize them. When putting together a presentation, the designer is primarily
interested in how the content will look on the screen. So the designer completely controls
the appearance of the document on the screen – e.g. the type, the size and colour of fonts.
When creating a network document, the writer doesn’t need to bother with HTML-
markings as the reader always has a higher priority and can specify through his/her own
browser how they wish to see the document on the screen. The purpose of the

18
presentation is to impart the message, to inform audiences and viewers, to affect them in
a certain way, to exert influence on viewers and their selection. The content of the
presentation is the essence of what we impart to the consciousness of the audience. The
purpose of hypertext is creating and maintaining all kinds of communications between its
various constituents. Seen in this light, hypertext is always a network, instead of an
hierarchy; a storehouse of texts and ideas, instead of a simple message.

WikiWiki allows us to experience the style of the hypertext and to get to grips with the
unusual feature of writing nonlinear electronic documents. This feature is, so far, very
poorly developed, and numerous training courses do little to promote its development. In
a conventional situation, with the rigid hierarchy of a paper document with a table of
contents and subsequent breakdown into chapter and subitems, you have to write a new
piece of text before references can be made to it. An advantage of HTML coding is that it
does not require the existence of references leading to non-existent pages. In WikiWiki
references to as yet uncreated texts are not only a normal phenomenon, but also a unique
method of creating new records. To do this you need to specify a reference in the text to
this item which, at the time of writing, doesn’t exist.

In WikiWiki,a brand new model of collaborative hypertext has been developed since the
opportunity of creating and editing any submitted item is extended to each of the
members of a network community. This difference makes Wiki the most promising
means for the collective writing of hypertexts, a modern electronic board on which an
entire group can write.

WikiWiki is used when hypertext is created rapidly by several people working together.
It was established for individual and group use to manage information in order to help to
connect pages or fragments of a database. To this can be added the obvious advantage of
being able to edit collectively. Nonetheless, the opportunity for individual activity,
creating hypertext script, is still available. In the modern world WikiWiki is more and
more often considered as an alternative to web sites. In this connection it is worth
comparing the facilities which these services give to members of educational
communities.

Table 1. Comparative analysis of web-site vs WikiWiki

Web-site WikiWiki
Single person usage Community usage
The design of the site is significant Design is not significant
A knowledge of HTML tags is beneficial Needs knowledge of simple Wiki tags
Site is updated using FTP protocol Updated using web-protocol
Prior to expanding the site new pages need Prior to expanding the site references to
to be created new pages need to be created
On updating the site previous information All the pages remain in the data base
is overwritten
Every page within the site should be On every page there should be a list of
referred to on each page. background references and a list of those

19
pages which refer to data
A map of the site is created centrally A map of the site is created automatically
and reflects the interests of the community
participants

More and more, Wiki is being considered as an effective way of organising teaching
activity and as an element of distance learning courses. The use of WikiWiki for
combined activity does not yet necessarily imply an environment in which people work
closely together and closely interact with what others on the site are doing. Their previous
pedagogical and educational experience prevents them from using other peoples’ ideas
creating materials which would be useful to other members of the community. Therefore,
early use of this collective environment has led to the creation of separate pages, which
had no reference to any other pages. Moving to a new level of joint activity demands
additional efforts from organizers who could help community participants to broaden
their scope and follow each others’ progress. Within the WikiWiki framework, teachers
can look through and edit all existing pages, find general themes and references on pages
and show pupils what potential partners are working towards and how to cooperate with
them. The social service WikiWiki can be used in student teaching in a variety of ways.

Firstly, by displaying, expanding and annotating teaching materials. It is an exciting


opportunity for students and teachers to leave notes and comments in the margin on
lectures or other original work. Each article within the MediaWiki framework is
connected to a discussion page which can be considered as supplementary material or the
“back page” of the article concerned. On this page any interested readers can leave
comments or engage in discussion. This electronic way of presenting teaching materials
allows students to keep track of the links between texts. The system of back-referencing
allows one to track the references to particular lectures and seminar lessons of any given
author.
Library text Library commentary

Pipert
Puancar’s influence on culture, in
to Robert Pirsig’s book
the books of Pipert and Pirsig
“Zen and the art of ..”

Pirsig
References to Pipert
leading to Pointcarre
References to Pirsig
Pointcarr
References to Pointcarre

Secondly,by collaborative work on the virtual study of local history and nature trips
by schoolchildren and students. For example, the Nizhniy Novgorod naturalists write
about rare and disappearing breeds of animals and plants. The book about animals is
written by one group of people, the book about plants by another and the book about

20
nature reserves by yet another group. When we see an article about a butterfly with the
name Apollo and learn that it lays its eggs on a large crassula, or “harel cabbage” (Sedum
telephium L.) we can immediately click on the reference to the harel cabbage to see what
it looks like. And when we read that Apollo lives in the Pustinskiy nature reserve in the
Slonovsky-Kurmanovsky swamp it impels us immediately to look at this swamp. If all
three books are available within WikiWiki, then we can do this.

We need only select as internal references the words with which we wish to use as a basis
and about which we wish to learn more. MediaWiki dictates that we include the key
words in two square brackets which then become references to [[crassula]] or to
[[Slonovsky-Kurmansky swamp]].

If a botanist has already written and has placed an article about [[crassula]] in Letopis the
reference will work immediately and will lead us to the text. If he intends to write an
article in the future, there will be a deferred reference which can be activated in the
future.

The beauty of Wiki is that we do not have to pester a botanist with questions about how
to find the file containing his article on the crassula or to ask the name of the article
should you need to refer to it. We just abide by the way WikiWiki works —the article is
named and has a reference. And if a geographer then writes an article about the swamp in
question, then the reference becomes activated automatically, without anything else
needing to be done.

Apollon

place of breeding
habitation

Slonovsky-K. swamp large crassula


swamp
Via WikiWiki
Via WikiWiki

new links

Thirdly, by collaborative work on producing literature — fairy tales, poems, essays.


Collective texts such as “the Student's fairy tale” and “the School fairy tale” have been
created in WikiWiki. The creation of the school fairy tale is particularly noteworthy
because visually impaired children took part in its creation. Using an Internet-studio at a
school for partially sighted children we have set about creating a collective fairy tale
within the WikiWiki environment, and have shown that children easily master this

21
method of collective network activity and create a high-grade network project which
arouses the interest of pupils from other schools and cities. WikiWiki’s strength lies in its
cross-referability and scope for collective effort. People from different geographical areas
and different fields of knowledge can work independently of each other on writing
articles. Interaction between people is established through the interaction between
articles. This interaction between articles comes about automatically as a consequence of
WikiWiki’s functioning: The name of the article is potentially a reference to the article
within the text of other articles inside WikiWiki.

Fourthly, in putting together joint teachers’ , students’ and schools’ encyclopedias.


An example of such a project is the international project “Time to return home” on
www.Letopisi.ru

The Wiki project Letopisi.ru “Time to return home”


In 2006 an educational community of participants from the Intel ® “Training for the
future” programme helped to set up a hypertext encyclopedia (http://Letopisi.ru) which
was to be open and accessible to all interested parties. The all-Russian educational project
Letopisi.ru, which is being sponsored by Intel® and “TransTeleCom”, is based on
WikiWiki technology which has received widespread popularity due to the open-access
worldwide encyclopedia -Wikipedia. Chronicling the annals and histories of Russian
villages, settlements, railway stations and small cities is a project in which teachers and
pupils can play a part. School teachers, students (teachers of the future) and school teams
under the supervision of a teacher have been invited to participate in the project. If you
want to share stories about people, events, and places in your locality then Letopisi is the
place to do it. Contributors’ stories supplement, expand and enrich each other.
Undertaking this project is a significant event in Russian educational life because for the
first time teachers, students, schoolchildren and their parents have an opportunity to think
and operate together on an equal footing and, supported by software and databases, can
enhance the intellectual power of each other. Letopisi does not try to emulate the
worldwide encyclopedia. It is a much more free-form experiment within our study
framework which allows us to think and operate as a networked organization. The project
is a living example of the graduated complexity of the structure and the coalescing of
separate items within a uniform fabric.

The Letopisi project is a community-wide experiment involving studying WikiWiki


opportunities for educational purposes. Open-access hypertext is an ideal technology for
educational cooperation. It is a new electronic school board on which all participants in
the educational process can write. The accessible-to-all electronic board is a successful
example of a general resource, which can be used for collective activity by a group of
people. And this is its great advantage over other means of display. Conventional
presentation is usually an individual effort. WikiWiki has a collective electronic board on
which the whole group can write. Another advantage of such an electronic board over the
ordinary school board is that all the items written on the electronic board are always kept.
If any piece of text is replaced by a new one, this new addition can be thought of as
having been pasted on to the board on top of the previous text. In this way all the

22
previous contributions are kept. On the one hand, it helps to track the history of all
changes to the information stored in the Wiki database. On the other hand, it guarantees
data storage and a defined level of security for the jointly-produced material from false or
planned sabotage. Now in Autumn 2006, project Letopisi is seen as a useful vehicle for
collaborative educational work in which teachers, students and schoolchildren can find
facts, examples they can copy, materials for comparison and analysis, and a means of
processing and visualising data. You should find out about the project initially by reading
its articles, looking at the way materials are stored, and examining the opportunities
which specialised open-access MediaWiki pages give for searching and structuring
information.

Reading Letopisi
Don’t be in a hurry to add your contribution to the collective hypertext. As a first step,
browse through Letopisi’s articles. Reading Letopisi articles helps one learn how the
name of article is chosen and how the article has been put together.

 Main page Like any hypertext system it is possible to


read pages of letopisi in various ways. You
 Community can navigate your way using specific
words - internal references. You can enter
 Current events words about which you want to conduct a
search in the search box on the left of the
screen. Furthermore, special service pages
 Recent changes
allow you a choice of articles or to see lists
of the latest changes, latest articles, most
 Casual articles
often visited articles and references etc.
You can access the list of participants and
 Certification find out about contributors to letopisi, see
the list of images and choose a photo which
 Support & can be used in articles which you may wish
acknowledgements to create or change.

Search

Go to Search

Tools

 Load files

 Special pages

23
Look on Letopisi at the list of project participants and their personal pages.

To read new articles click on the hyperlink below


http://www.letopisi.ru/index.php/%D0%A1%D0%BB%D1%83%D0%B6%D0%B5%D0
%B1%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%8F:Newpages

To receive updates from the “Did you know” section you only have to insert the
following line into the text of a page on the site:
<script language=javascript src=”http://pat.iatp.ru/did-you-know.php”></script>

After embedding the “did you know” reference in the script on a page the “did you
know? record will appear as one of the last items. For example:
Did you know, that... Inhabitants of Pereljub, a village in the Saratov area, on touching a
particular milestone, can be in three time zones at once?

Its up to you whether you continue with this item or not.

Attributing references
Bibliographic data of “Volishevo”
Author: Authors Letopisi.ru
Published: Letopisi.ru, international educational project.
Date of latest change: 27 February 2006 09:32 UTC
Date of uploading: 1 March 2006 03:34 UTC
URL: http://www.letopisi.ru/index.php/Волышево
Description: “Volishevo” see National standards 7.1-2003 and 7.82-2001
Letopisi.ru, international project [electronic resource]: Volishevo, latest amendment 27
February 2006, 09.32 UTC/ authors Letopisi.ru – electronic data – open-access regime.

Special features of MediaWiki


The list of MediaWiki special pages can be accessed using the hyperlink in the lower left
corner of the screen — Special Pages. The list is long so only the most significant are
shown, grouped thematically.

All pages — an alphabetic listing of all articles currently available in Letopisi. Using this
list you can look for whatever you want.

Popular pages — a list of pages arranged on the frequency of hits. For example, Letopisi
Main Page (13040 viewings), the Sandbox (1657 viewings).

Most linked — a list of pages generated by the frequency of references to them.


References to specific articles is a very important and interesting idea which is widely
used in the WikiWiki world. Interesting because not only do articles cross refer to other
articles but the articles also contain links to data. For each article it is possible to see the
list “references here”, in other words, backlinks. The value and importance of these pages

24
is defined in many respects by the references to them, and the names of these articles
serve as popular internal references.

Your watch list — pages which you have marked and want to be notified of any
changes.

New articles — articles which have recently been published. The list is arranged
chronologically.

Oldest articles — a list of articles arrranged starting with the oldest first.

Latest amendments — a list of articles arranged in order of editing, starting with the
very latest.

Uncategorized pages — a list of articles for which there is no indicated category. These
orphan-pages are pages to which not a single article refers.

Dead-end articles — articles which don’t have references to other articles.

Wanted pages — names of articles which do not yet exist, but are used on pages as
references. The more references there are to this nonexistent article, the higher it appears
in this listing of wanted pages.

Export pages — a service to export one or more pages from one MediaWiki to another.
Anybody can export pages. Only those with administrator rights can import pages.

Unused categories — created but not used in even a single article. Uncategorized
categories are not used in the more general categories.

List of files — a list of all files held in the database. There is a gallery of new files sorted
in receipt order. The sort order can be changed to show the earliest first.

Unused files — a list of files which are in the database but are not being used in even a
single page.

List of participants — a listing of all registered participants. Those shown in red have
registered but have not yet published anything identifying themselves.

List of blocked IP addresses and users — a list of those who have been denied editing
rights for one reason or another. Before banning them an administrator will advise them
of the reason and the duration of the ban.

Logs — Displays upload, deletion, protection, blocking and sysadmin logs. For example:
“09:59, 6 March 2006 Admin blocked «participant:123456789» infinite on the grounds of
vandalism”.

25
Statistics — Shows the quantitative data accessible in MediaWiki. For example, in
Letopisi on 27th September 2006: “929 registered participants. There are 2022 pages
which are considered high-grade articles”.

Registration of participants
It is necessary to register before contributing to the development of Letopisi. A registered
author possesses greater rights. Apart from anything else, it is a simple requirement
designed to ensure the security and stability of Letopisi.

In the top right corner of the Letopisi you are


presented with a hyperlink “sign in/ create Sign in / create account
account”.

Participants in the Letopisi project are registered under their original names. It is
necessary to specify not only a forename, but also a surname. Surprisingly, during the
first few months work on Letopisi, registration and the selection of names and passwords
caused the greatest difficulties for participants in the project. Registration to Letopisi is
carried out by an unquestioning automated tool which will accept any name and any
password. But you should bear in mind that in working within the system you will be
dealing with live people — co-authors and system administrators.

Registration of a new participant:

Common registration mistakes:

Figures instead of letters — figures raise doubts in the minds of system administrators
— is this perhaps some contrary person, come to sow destruction?

Only first names — just imagine that amongst the 700 or more co-authors of Letopisi
how many other contributors have the names Sasha or Masha!

Simultaneous registration of two participants — Sasha Petrov and Masha Potapova


— it is not easy for us to evaluate your work, and it is not easy for you to be part of the

26
project with such a common forename. There is endless scope for mistakes, such as, who
was the first one registered with that particular name! And when three people are
registered under one name and specify names, patronymics and surnames it is possible
that they won’t use that same name because they simply won’t remember exactly how it
was written.

Add your contribution, only as a an authorised Letopisi author — This will allow
you the opportunity to track the development of, and any changes to, pages, and will give
you an idea of your personal contribution to the project. Create a personal page. It will
allow other authors to get acquainted with you and to leave messages for you in the
discussion section.

Creation and discussion of articles


You really must get to know how to name articles and how to create articles. Articles are
always initially created by being named. The creation of articles is a simple procedure but
training is available if you are unsure how to proceed. There is a special area (the
sandbox) available for practising. This is a special page for experiments where you can
see and copy examples of how a page is set up. It will facilitate your initiation into the
community of Letopisi authors and will help avoid mistakes in the creation of new pages.
If the article you are interested in has not yet appeared then you should write it. There are
several ways to do this:

1. Within the text of an article there is a way of creating an internal link to a new article.
Save the article. If the link points to an as yet non-existent article it will be highlighted in
red. Click on this red link and you will end up in the amendment area for creating
articles. On the page for your region or city add a new article name — include one or
more words in double square brackets, for example, [[Slonovskoye-Kurmanovskoye
swamp]], and an internal reference to this swamp will be created in the system.

2. Within the text of any article there can be references to as yet unwritten articles. A list
of such non-existent, but anticipated, articles can be displayed using the link to special
pages (wanted pages).

3. Enter the name of the article in the “Search” window on the left and just below it click
on the “Go” button. Then, in the page that appears, click on the “create” link.

For example, if you live in Pereslavl-Zalesskiy and wish to write an article or a series of
articles about musical groups which are playing today in various venues in the city, you
should do the following:

Go to the Pereslavl-Zalesskiy page. Go to “edit this page” and create an internal


reference to an article [[music of Pereslavl-Zalesskiy]]. Save the page about the city
and you will find a ready to use, but yet not opened, reference to your musical
article. Click on the link “music of Pereslavl-Zalesskiy” and write on this page
about the groups and musical events of your charming city.

27
Rules for naming articles. Articles are named using the nominative singular case. It is
not permissible to write the letter «е» instead of «ё». For WikiWiki different letters =
different words. It is not permitted to write a single article about two people, even where
they are close relatives. It is not permitted to write a single article about two different
geographical points even if located side-by-side. It is not permitted to write about two
different concepts even if they are closely connected in your mind. For example, « hopes
and expectations of the modern teacher » is not allowed.

In names containing a hyphen, it is not necessary to add spaces. For example: [[swamp
Slonovskoye-Kurmanovskoye]] is correct.

Articles about people are written with surname or family name first. For example
Zhirnov, Yuri Nikolayevich. If it is anticipated that there may be several people with such
a surname, name and patronymic, then it may be necessary to add the person’s
profession, and if the professions also coincide, then age can be added.

Names of geographical locations. To specify in which area the place is located the name
of the article should follow the format: [[name of article (area/district)]]. For example:
[[Yelizarovo (Nizhniy Novgorod area)]] or [[Elizarovo (Khanty-Mansiiskiy autononous
region)]]. Please indicate the correct stress on the wording of any geographical locations.
For example Yeliza’rovo, Shakhu’nya.

Names of educational institutions. For example, School No 8 (Omsk), Grammar School


No 12 (Saratov), Palace of children’s creativity (Nizhniy Novgorod).

Assorted mistakes in the naming of articles


Mistakes are made most often in naming articles because the name of a Letopisi article
can take any form.

Example No 1. Renaming of an author’s page.


A registered author creates a page and writes the text of an article on this page. The
article is less about the writer, but rather concerns the town or city. A subsequent reader
notices that the article is about such-and-such a city but is named “participant:such-and-
such” and renames the article “such-and-such a school in such-and-such a city”. Such a
mistake is corrected by preventive maintenance and work in WikiWiki. The page, which
has undergone renaming, should also have had its *redirect removed.

Example No 2. Renaming of a page as itself.


A reader comes upon an as yet uncreated page, takes it over, and then renames it. For
example, he/she amends the page “Demon WikiWiki”, writes about his/her settlement or
village and then renames it. Anyone who does that has not properly thought through the
fact that someone had intended to write about what had been set up in WikiWiki. The
most likely reason for the mistake is vanity. It is put right by preventive maintenance and
work within WikiWiki. On the page which has undergone renaming, the *redirect is

28
removed. It is easily remedied. In cases where redirecting is not necessary remove the
redirecting.

Example No 3. The name of the article promises more than the article delivers.
For example, the article is entitled “Scientific work” and the text describes the activity of
schoolchildren working at their science-based school. ”Cultural sights” may refer to the
sights of one particular town, and “2000” refers to events at just that school. The problem
again is not looking beyond oneself. How can we cure it? More experience with
WikiWiki, greater attention to naming the article under the rubric “name of the article”
and helpful work on the article by other authors.

Example No 4. The name doesn’t mean anything.


For example, an article called "the present" — what was originally meant when this name
was dreamed up? The present time? Present in the sense of real? The likely source of this
mistake is familiarity with HTML-pages. Surprisingly, a prior knowledge of HTML and
the habit of making references to already existing pages, is of no benefit in the world of
WikiWiki. Having got used to writing “Press here”, "Back", etc. and to directing the
“Press here” to any_page.html doesn’t help because here it is necessary to think of a
useful name for an article which will be written later. Howdo we get around it? Through
experience with WikiWiki and greater care with article names.

Example No 5. Use of plurality and mismatch of case-endings of nouns.


For example: Water procedures (genitive plural), churches (propositional plural) and so
on. The reason for this mistake is the richness and flexibility of the Russian language. It
would have been simpler to name pages in English from the very beginning. How do we
deal with it? By correcting and renaming. Preventative maintenance of this type of
mistake is very important as it appears very often.

Writing articles
Articles begin with a re-stating of the article’s name and a definition of the article’s
subject. For example: “the Staraya Pustyn’ village is located in the Nizhniy Novgorod
area. The recommended minimum size of the article is 500 words. It is not always a good
idea to publish a larger quantity of separate articles: for example. one for each of the
classes in your school. Articles should be written in “popular scientific” style. The
content of the article should be described in full and absolutely without bias. Articles are
not signed and have no attribution. In connection with this, “we”, “in our opinion”, and
other personal references, should not be used.

Each page of Letopisi contains a "Discussion" section in which co-authors can discuss
the contents of the page. Within the framework of the discussion section it is necessary
to allocate ownership of one’s statements. The authorial contribution of the participant in
the creation, editing of, and addition to, articles can always be tracked. Within
MediaWiki, files such as “page history” and “participant contribution” exist to assist in
this. In order that your particular contribution can be assessed you should always work in
an authorised user mode.

29
In Letopisi it is forbidden to copy texts, images and other resources protected by
copyright. If the copyright status is unknown then don’t copy it. Letopisi material is
accessible on the Internet using the “GNU FDL” licence. Letopisi articles don’t need to
be signed. Every page has a record of it’s creation and any subsequent editing. However,
it is necessary to “sign” replies to articles in the discussion pages. At the end of the article
under "Literature" include details of any printed sources that you used (ISBN numbers,
names, authors, publishing houses, years of publication). At the very end of the article
include a section “External References” and list Internet pages (from which you gleaned
information) and any other interesting sites with the same theme as the article. Always
specify the sources of information you used in the preparation of your article. Only add
articles to Letopisi that are not already on the World Wide Web. If your town or city is
already described in detail on the World Wide Web and/or in Wikipedia then simply add
references to the already existing Web material.

Assorted mistakes within the texts of articles


Copying texts from the Internet
Why? Your stories are interesting precisely because they are yours! Certainly, dates and
places of historical events shouldn’t be invented but texts that are copied in their entirety
are not interesting.

Style
Articles in Letopisi are collaborative text which anyone can open and add to or correct. It
is therefore necessary to exclude such phrases as “I consider”, “our city”, and “at our
school”. What if your co-author is from another city, or another school? . You may
write “town of Okhotsk”, “in school No 5 in Engels” and so on.

Absence of article discussion


You must learn how to discuss collective work, how to assess another person's material,
to praise and criticize each other. This was very seldom the case previously.

Syntax and marking rules in MediaWiki


Wiki-syntax within the various wiki-systems differs
generally only in the syntax they use for the creation
of references. Internal references to clauses in
MediaWiki are framed like this: [[name of article|
hypertext to be visible]].

If the text and the name of article are the same, then only the name of the article is written
in square brackets. For example, if within the text of an article there is a reference to the
city of Saransk, then just that word needs to be included in square brackets —
[[Saransk]].

30
If the sentence is “about the city of Saransk” (translator’s note: and therefore in the
prepositional case) then one should fragment the word as follows — [[Saransk]]е. The
program will colour highlight the whole word but the reference will find the necessary
article.

If the article talks about the capital of Mordovia we use substitution — we leave the
word-combination “capital of Mordovia”, but before it in brackets we put the name of the
article: We have arrived in [[Saransk|the capital of Mordovia]].

N.B. put a vertical line “|” between the reference and the word(s) you want to give
visibility to.

Paragraphs are divided by a blank line: simply leave a blank line between paragraphs.

Names of sections of the article are put on a separate line and framed by two (or by three
for subitems) equal-signs. For example:
= Nizhniy Novgorod =
== Sormovskiy region ==
== Nizhniy Novgorod region==
The use of such sections has several advantages. Firstly, MediaWiki automatically
creates a table of contents at the beginning of the page and makes them anchor
references. Secondly, each section of the article can be edited separately, thus reducing
editing conflicts. If it is your intention that a team works collectively and simultaneously
then it will be easier to divide the text of the article into sections and to divide the efforts
of the participants into these sections.

External references (links to other Internet sites) are formed as follows: «[http://URL-
adress visible text of the link]».

For a numbered list put the “#”symbol at the beginning of each line

For an unnumbered list — put the asterisk symbol “*” at the beginning of the line.

To use ‘’’emboldened text‘’’ frame the text with three single inverted commas.

For ‘’italicised text’’ use two single inverted commas.

A horizontal line is indicated by four dashes: ----

An image is indicated thus: [[image:file name]]

31
Table 2. Syntax comparisons between Wiki and HTML tags

Element HTML-tags Wiki tags


nd
Headings <h2>second level</h2> == 2 level ==
<h3>third level</h3> === 3rd level ===
Paragraphs <p></p> blank line
numbered list <ol><li></li></ol> #
unnumbered list <ul><li></li></ul> *
internal link <a href=page.html></a> [[article name]]
external link <a href=http://www. ya.ru> [http://www.ya.ru Yandex]
Yandex</a>
Bold text <b>text</b> '''text'''
Italic text <i>text</i> ''text''
Picture/image <im src=filename> [[image: file name]]

On-line editing of MediaWiki


Access to on-line editing is available within MediaWiki.

The editing tools available are represented below:

Left to right:
• B— use bold text
• I — use italic text
• Ab — an internal link
• an external link
• a second level heading
• a picture or image
• a media file
• a mathematical formula
• non-Wiki syntax (<nowiki></nowiki>)
• participant signature
• horizontal line (dash)

Categories
Categories are labels, tags, or keywords with which we mark materials. Labels can be put
on most objects — articles, photos, figures, mediafiles, templates. In MediaWiki it is
even possible to put labels on other labels. Categories are used to facilitate the search for
items and link them according to common specifics. For example, we can allocate the
label "Khabarovsk territory" to all articles relating to a certain geographical area, or the
label “Information technologies” to all articles about a certain field of knowledge.

32
The assignment of a label or category is not obligatory, but it can potentially make the
search quicker and faster. Categories help find partners — co-authors who live near you
or write on similar themes. It is desirable that each page of Letopisi is included in at least
one category. This is done to aid searching. Categories are added to articles right at the
end of the text. Each category is added on a separate line. To mark an item in MediaWiki
you have to write Category:Category Name and to include these words within two square
brackets. For example: [[Category: Definition]].

A label-category is put right at the end of the article. It is possible to mark articles,
figures and audiofiles with several categories. For example, an audio story of the
headteacher in the village of Vyezdniy could be assigned to category [[Category: Nizhniy
Novgorod area]] and to category [[Category:Director]], and to category
[[Category:Audiostory]]. Categories are similar to the labels with which users of Living
Journals and Flickr are already familiar. The essential difference between categories and
labels is that categories can be applied to higher-level classification.

The highest level of category within Letopisi is [[Category:All]]. Every category, except
for this top-level one, should be mentioned in the high level directory.
[[Category:Letopis:Directory]] Many categories can be annotated within an article.
Categories do not influence the name of the article in any way. The article name must be
unique. WikiWiki allows one to use any pages in Letopisi. Given this, the author should
consider which categories should be allocated to his particular page in Letopisi. The use
of categories helps Letopisi co-authors to track one another’s activity and to unite their
efforts within the framework of the general theme.

Here is a listing of currently existing categories within Letopisi:

Place categories. "Russia" is used as a base category. Inside this category there are
regions and areas. Inside these categories — cities, villages and settlements. Inside these
categories — streets, buildings and other objects for which it is possible to specify an
exact geographical position and to take digital photographs.

Time categories. Time is used as a base category. Inside this category are centuries. Our
Letopisi represents first of all “XXI century”. The category “XXI century” includes
years, which, in its turn, includes months and days.

People. In the people category at the highest level is the subcategory “Letipisi
participants”. Within this are “teachers”, “students” and “schoolchildren”.

Knowledge. The base category here is “knowledge” Within this are sub-categories of
“philosophy”, “pedagogy”, “technology” and “ecology”, necessary for the development
of Letopisi.

Events. The following items fall within this category: digital technology exhibitions,
virtual excursions, Summer schools, sports and intellectual competitions, theatrical
shows, musical evenings and so on.

33
Templates
MediaWiki Templates are special pages, the contents of which can be inserted into other
pages. Changes in a template are reflected in all pages in which they have been included.
Templates allow one to create standard forms and to use them over and over again on
pages. A template is an ordinary Wiki page which can be edited by any author.

A template is inserted as follows:


{{template name}}.
Insert “template:template name” at the place on the page where you want to display a
template. If the template is unavailable, the label will be displayed as a reference to a
nonexistent template.

Any page can be used as a template. If the “Name of template” already exists as a name
item, or else the name of the piece is preceded by a colon (which refers abck to the main
list of article names), the reference made by the author will not automatically bring up the
template page of names “Template:”. If a category or picture is sought in this manner,
then the corresponding descriptor for either the category of text or picture will be
displayed.

Thanks to the template mechanism, with MediaWiki it is possible to use articles as


“building bricks” and from these we can assemble larger “building blocks”.

For example, an article about the city of Nizhniy Novgorod is made up of a number of
articles about its regions:

==== Nizhniy Novgorod region ====


{{:Nizhniy Novgorod region, Nizhniy Novgorod}}

==== AvtoZavodsdkiy region ====


{{:Avtozavodskiy region, Nizhniy Novgorod}}

In its turn, the article about the Nizhniy Novgorod region is made up of articles about
separate streets of the region:

{{:Bol’shar Pokrovskaya (Nizhniy Novgorod)}}

{{:Il’inskaya (Nizhniy Novgorod)}}

From these articles about individual streets it is possible to assemble the text to represent
the whole area, and from these building brick articles about areas it is possible to
assemble an article about the city itself. But we can also construct new and unexpected
compositions. For example, we can assemble an article in which all Freedom Streets will
be displayed or all churches of the prophet Ilya in different Russian cities.

34
The template mechanism not only allows the insertion of template contents, but also
allows us to define template parameters.
For example, on the page of a template called Coor, we could specify the following
parameters which would be used when the template was brought up on the screen:
{{{1}}}, {{{2}}}. When we use a template on a page, we enter, after the template name,
any required parameters, separating them with vertical lines. Any unwanted (i.e. not used
in the template body) parameters are ignored. The list of references to pages used in the
template text is displayed in the article editing window.

The “Note on fields” template contains a reference to the page discussion area. The first
and only parameter used in the template is for readers’ notes which appear in the right
hand part of the text.

The "Errors" template contains a reference to the “Letopisi mistakes” page and helps
administrators notify users of formatting mistakes, giving examples of similar mistakes
and possible ways to correct the errors.

Adding to MediaWiki
You may add drawings, photos and sound files to Letopisi. Images appearing in Letopisi
are published with the same rights as articles, in conformity with the GFDL licensing
scheme.

Adding photographs and drawings


If you wish to add an authoring logo to an article, simply take a digital photo or draw a
figure and add these images to MediaWiki. You shouldn’t incorporate somebody else’s
photos if you haven’t received their permission. If it already appears elsewhere on the
Internet then simply include it’s full address. For example:
http://www.letopisi.ru/images/thumb/a/a8/Forum2.jpg/180px-Forum2.jpg

Instead of this address, MediaWiki will substitute the image.

Only registered participants of Letopisi can place mediafiles (images and sounds) inside
the MediaWiki database.

To upload a file there is a special link “upload file” in the left hand column headed
“tools”. You can also insert a photo or other mediafile into the text of the article by
clicking on the icon towards the right hand side of the editing toolbar panel.

• Use categories both in the text of articles and in the description of photos. It will assist
in quickly finding the required information.

• For images use jpg, gif or png formats. For photos use jpg. For drawings and
schematics use png format.

35
• Try not to exceed 50KB for images to be used in an article. Don’t use a photo larger
than 600 to 800 pixels. The server will not accept files that are too large.

To insert a loaded image into an article, you only need to specify a reference to it:
[[Image:File]].

Do not overload articles with images. Using images which are already in our Letopisi
image database is encouraged. Try to include uploaded images in special categories
within the hierarchy of categories. Names of such categories always begin with the prefix
“Images:”. For example, [[Category: Images:Portraits]].

Using a different text to the image is welcomed [[image:file|alternative text]] — think of


people with limited sight.

The “thumb” attribute, inserted between a name of a file and the explanatory text,
proportionally reduces the width and height of the image. By default the image moves to
the right. e.g.:[[Image:Section.png|thumb| Participants of lecture “web services”]]

After the “thumb” attribute we can specify the width of the image (the height will be
changed proportionately). Additionally, we can specify in what part of the screen the
image should appear.

The “gallery” tag allows the inclusion of several images:


<gallery>
Image:Telenok.jpg|Calf
Image:Petuh-eliz.jpg
Image:Ovcy-eliz.jpg
Image:Gusik-eliz.jpg|Goose
</gallery>

Letopisi audio recordings


Since the middle of 2006 there has been the opportunity to add audio files to the
MediaWiki base of the Letopisi project. The Ogg Vorbis format has been chosen as the
preferred format for audiofiles. Ogg Vorbis is an open-source format for storage of sound
files which is widely used in open-source projects and collections, such as WikiMedia
and Wikicommons. In order to hear the Letopisi audio recordings, it is necessary to install
a player compatible with Ogg on your computer. One such player is Foobar —
http://www.foobar2000.org/.

Letopisi sounds are accessible on the following page:


http://www.letopisi.ru/index.php/Звуки_Летописи.

Name Short description Size


Media:Test-ogg.ogg Test file 59896
Media:Abramovo.ogg A story about the village of Abramovo in the 2066648

36
Arzamacckovo region
Media:Ishukova.ogg A story by Aleksandra Ishchukovo about how 450603
she visited her husband in hospital during the
2nd World
Media:Elizarovo.ogg A recording, made in the village of Elizarovo, 418685
with a story about a well.
Media:Km-lect01.ogg The first lecture about web-services 214047

After you click on the reference the file will start to load and play.

In order to record an audiofile for Letopisi you may use the free editor Audacity.
Carry out the following actions to record your own audiofile:

1. Download the free, open-source, audio sound editor. It can record audio files in the
Ogg format. http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

2. Think of a theme for the broadcast with a duration of 4-5 minutes. It could be a story
about your experiences at work, an interesting case from real-life or advice for a
beginner. It can be any material which illustrates and expands the text of your Letopisi
article. You can download several audio files simultaneously, edit any of them and collate
from the clips a new recording.

3. Record your audiofile. Listen to it and edit as necessary. It is possible to listen to


podcasts on any computer by using Foobar.

4. Upload the audiofile to Letopisi using the “file upload” page. You must be a registered
user. The file volume should not exceed 3MB.

Putting graphs into Letipisi using the Graphviz graphics


package
A powerful graphic package integrated within MediaWiki is GraphViz
(http://www.graphviz.org/). It allows you to record links between articles as simple
correlations and represents these correlations in graphical format. It is a set of tools for
graphic data representation. The programme accepts descriptions of correlations and
individual items of sets, converts this to a graphical representation, and "adds" additional
information to these derived geometric attributes, allowing the package "to draw" a
graphical picture.

Graphviz uses the primitive graphical language of the dgl format. The basic concepts of
this language are a graph, of which the top of the graph column is a product of the data,
the line connecting points N and M.

37
The simplest graph is accessed thus:
<graphviz> digraph G { Hello -> Reader ; }
</graphviz>

Relationships between relatives in the project “my family” could be depicted as follows:
<graphviz>
digraph G {“Korzhukov Valentin Grigor’evich” -> “Korzhukov Maksim Valentinovich”
[label = “father”] ;
“Mironova Tat’yana Rudol’fovna” -> “Korzhukov Maksim Valentinovich” [label =
“mother”] ;}
</graphviz>

The graphics package itself does all the internal processing by itself and depicts the
relationships on the screen.

Korzhukov Valentin father


Grigor’evich
Korzhukov Maksim
Valentinovich
Mironova Tat’yana mother
Rudol’fovna

These are the basic rules:

• Include within quotation marks the title of any items consisting of several words.

• All the components of the graph should be connectable with the relevant pages. Using
the keyword [URL = »internal reference »] is the way to connect to the page. For
example, WikiWiki [URL = »WikiWiki»].

• Using the keyword “rankdir=LR” or (RL, TB, BT), you can track along the graph (here,
for example, from left to right).

Displaying links between articles in Letopis


WikiWiz — a graphic means of displaying the links between pages in MediaWiki.
Thanks to this we can see how pages, figures, categories and templates are
interconnected.

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For example:

Letopisi at 1st November 2006


As at 31st October 2006, there were 3,236 articles in Letopisi. These have been
supplemented by 2,488 graphic and audiofiles. Letopisi today is an average-size
hypermedia database. 1,358 users contribute to this warehouse. 11 Letopisi systems
administrators look after the running of the system. On 25th and 26th October 2006, the
All-Russia Letopis conference took place. It was a chance to present and discuss topics
under the heading “new approaches to the use of geoinformation technology in science
and education”. Questions and responses appeared continuously on Letopisi throughout
the conference. Article authors and the target audience made their assessment of
MediaWiki technology, which makes compiling new texts from existing extracts very
easy. There were definitions of the following terms which had been included in the most
accessed pages:
• GPS;
• GPS-navigator;
• Geocaching;
• Geotagging.

39
A school calling card ready in one minute on the Net!
On 26th October 2006, a massive shake-up in the storing of articles on rural schools
began, based on Letopisi. One of the key policies, the high priority national project
"Education", forms part of the programme of equipping schools and colleges with
modern computer facilities, and connection to the Internet. It is estimated that, in addition
to those already connected, more than 52 thousand schools will receive an Internet
connection within the next two years. The basic problem encountered by schools coming
on to the network as new users is understanding how such a powerful resource as the
global network can be used for the good of the education. For example, schools wishing
to create their own Internet web presence, face technical and other problems ranging from
domain registration to daily administrative support. Russian schools now have a unique
opportunity to create their own pages within the framework of the national educational
Internet-project Letopisi.ru. All you have to do is find your region on Letopisi by clicking
on Letopisi Regions. All schools will be represented on this region page. Volunteer
students from higher education faculties have given tremendous support to adding rural
school details to Letopisi. They have designed and put in place the following “school
calling card” template on pages for schools in the Nizhniy Novgorod and Murmansk
regions.

Template: school calling card.


== School history ==
== The school today ==
== School characteristics ==
[[Category:School]]
[[Category:District]]
[[Category:Region]]

The Letopisi project is predicated on establishing an educational encyclopedia and on


promoting new technology and networked social services in Russian education. One of
the developments of the project has been the setting up of regional education “hubs”
harnessing WikiWiki technology. We list here the core educational WikiWiki centres,
operating in Russia in October 2006.

Saratov WikiWiki (http://wiki.saratov.fio.ru/index.php/)


Wiki was established in October 2005 on a server in the Saratov Institute for Teacher
Training. It was the first Wiki in which teachers from Saratov, Nizhni Novgorod and
Pskov experimented with ways of organising schoolchildren’s learning as part of
education provision within this new medium. In the beginning it was mostly virtual
excursions because,during the first stage of work on the project organizers linked the
generation of Wiki articles with geo-caching.

Within the space of several months teachers and pupils had got to grips with Wiki for
jointly creating hypertext and tried to depict the results as Wiki articles. At the same time,
operating procedures, content limitations and presentational guidelines were being

40
formulated. These days, SarWiki is used to train IT teachers in familiarising them with
the way the Web 2.0 works.

Khabarovsk WikiWiki (http://resource.ippk.ru/mediawiki/index.php)


The Khabarovsk regional Teacher Training Institute has started development of a
regional KhabaWiki after successfully holding a seven-day Summer School for the
region’s teachers. All the activity was conducted on a local network using WikiWiki but
without connection to the Internet. The simplicity of using the system, the opportunity
for working on serious and not-so-serious texts simultaneously and the chance to transfer
all the material generated at the Summer school to the institute's permanent server, has
convinced institute employees of the value of conducting network seminars (including
items of best practice) for the region’s teachers and the institute’s IT practitioners and to
give to all teachers a free platform to undertake network projects with schoolchildren
should they so wish.

Pskov WikiWiki (http://wiki.pskovedu.ru/index.php/)


On 4th July 2006, round table discussions took place in Pskov regional center of distance
learning. Questions centred on the way forward for the PskovWiki project. During our
talks we looked at Wikipedia and Letopisi and related projects, and also at the experience
gained by Saratov WikiWiki during their project “virtual travel around an ancient city”.

Possible future directions for the project may be involvement in: WikiSchool, WikiNews,
WikiWarehouse, WikiLaughter etc. For example, in WikiSchool we plan to store
information on various projects including distance learning and teaching techniques for
various school subjects. We can present topics useful both to teachers and schoolchildren
– elective courses, preparation for examinations, references to useful resources etc.

Murmansk WikiWiki
The idea for the creation of a regional educational Wiki was born in the summer of 2006
after the participation of Murmansk teachers in a congress “focus on our educational
project" held in 2006. They began placing essays on Letopisi and have taken it from
there: the new technology is easy to use in teaching, and is relevant to the forthcoming
big event connecting all our schools to the Internet.

It is also a means of self-expression for creative teachers and their keen ICT pupils. We
have taken a great interest in the materials in the “newborn” regional Wiki projects. There
are plans to invite anyone interested who lives in Murmansk: students, parents of pupils,
workers in the field of art and culture, our respected war veterans, and anybody else who
might be interested in the collective hypertext environment to participate in the project.
Participants will be invited to put their most interesting items, from a thematic point of
view, on to Letopisi (or to make them available through links).

Nizhniy Novgorod WikiWiki (http://www.nnspu.ru:8080/wiki/index.php)


The Nizhniy Novgorod Teacher Training institute version of WikiWiki started
functioning in April 2006. It is used for teaching students about modern information
technologies and for presenting material on the “Technical and Audiovisual Teaching

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Aids” course. In October 2006 there were 185 registered users. Collections of
photographs include:

• photographs of teachers and students;

• photographs of the city and region;

• photographs linked to the history of the Nizhniy Novgorod physics and astronomy
group.

Discussion extracts from the Letopisi project


From material on the site: http://community.livejournal.com/vintel

We all make mistakes, and no amount of preliminary discussions and arrangements will
save us from mistakes. It is important to learn from our mistakes. Especially for teachers
who have got used to the fact that, because of their status in the classroom, they don’t
have the “right” to make mistakes. Project participants should not be afraid to hear that
they have made a mistake, they should be ready to acknowledge it and correct it —
without waiting until their article becomes moribund from having gone nowhere. It is a
sign of their willingness to work and make the project better.

Some very interesting electronic correspondence on the. history of the town has been
received.It's difficult to believe, but every day there are surprises – descendants from
ancient Porkhov living in Amsterdam have sent, and continue to send, interesting
material including memoirs of parents, grandmothers and grandfathers, or else memoirs
of a small boy growing up in Porkhov during the war. There's a wealth of information;
that's what putting our small town on the Web means.

Whether you believe it or not I learn something new for myself every day in a very
stimulating activity. Letopisi. So, let’s argue and discuss – it’s all very useful. The
constant brain-storming is stimulating.

Teaching methods handbook


Patarakin, Yevgeniy Dmitriyevich
Social Services Web 2.0
for teaching and learning
Printed by Publishing House “Intuit.ru”
123056, Moscow, 8 Electric Lane, Building 3
tel: (495) 253-9312, tel/fax: (495) 253-9310
e-mail: info@intuit.ru, http://www.intuit.ru
Published 30 Oct 06. Circulation 3,000 copies.
format 60х90 1/16. phys. p. l. 3,5
Printed at ООО “Bogorodskiy poligraphic combine”
142400, Noginsk, 406 Industrial St.

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