Resource Number 11

URL http://www.wikispaces.com Keywords collaboration, editable, shared resources, word processing

Wikispaces
Category IV Collaboration Tools – Wikis Rationale

Collaboration is a critical job and study skill and Wikispaces allows one to model and develop this skill online. Wikispaces is a tool to collect and collate web finds, report on your activities, organize teacher’s and student's online portfolios, update and build together materials. The page set up allows the visitor to explore the finds and use this tool as a web 2.0 learning journey. The optimal benefit of using a wiki for classroom education is the ability to facilitate and document collaboration among class members. It can be explored also by educators as a great tool for Continuous and Autonomous Professional Development since it allows working asynchronously and synchronously on collaborative projects regardless the location of the participants. Description A wiki is a Web site that can be edited, organized, and collated by anyone who is in the wiki's user base. Wikispaces are collaborative, community effort building application that allows updating information, discussing with invited members and keeping track on changes that have been done on the wiki by others. Wiki offers a 2G space for collaboration and processing information and adding an unlimited number of users on your wiki. Resources required Wikispaces is built to work immediately without any downloads. The tool is very user-friendly and suitable for less experienced technology users. Obligatory resources  Desktop computer or laptop  An Internet connection (not necessarily broadband)  An e-mail address  Registration and logging in at www.wikispaces.com Cost Wikispaces offers two options:  Wikis for individuals and groups: All the features needed for a relatively small group are free. That includes the ability to invite up to 100 members to your wiki and 2GB of storage space, as well as some customisation options.  Wikis for organisations: For more features, subscriptions start at $1000/year. Eliminates advertisements and allows customisation (colours and the layouts).

1
The project Autonomous “Personal Learning Networks” for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Setup and Configuration All you need is a web browser and an Internet connection. After choosing a Username, Password and introducing an email address, you are transferred to the welcome page where you can type in the name of your wiki. You will proceed to Welcome to Your New Wiki site where you can get a help and view some tutorials guiding you step by step in the creation of your wiki.

Styling In the section Manage Wiki you can click on Settings and then select Look and Feel. In Themes and Colours you can choose from a pre-select range of Themes for your Wiki. The range is limited but if you wish to design your own or get more options you can purchase an upgraded version. You can also add a logo. More options are available only for paying members. Navigation and operation Wiki Service well organized and intuitive. It's designed to provide all of the benefits of wikis while being very simple to use for non-technical users. The main Navigation menu offers some options:  By clicking on Page and then the Edit button, you can start composing your first entry. You can use the typical range of options for text editing, insert links, widgets, pictures, files, spreadsheets, etc. Each entry can be easily edited.  By clicking on Discussion you can start a discussion with the members you have invited into your wiki. You can set a topic, see replies and views.  The button History helps you orient in the posts and updates of invited members.  The button Notify provides a service that sends you an email on the email address you have typed in. The function of the Wikispace manager (the author of the wiki) and anyone else given "administrator" permission is able to handle the organization of the wiki. He can:  Set permissions for the whole wiki.  Manage wiki members.  Change the look and update.  Lock pages so no one can edit them.  Delete or rename files and pages.  Look at the history logs and see who has spent time and effort learning the technology and collaborating. If you need assistance, there are several video guides that will show you how to work with a Wiki.

2
The project Autonomous “Personal Learning Networks” for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Implementation methodology A wiki is an excellent platform for content storage, sharing and collaborating. This makes it ideal for organising course content in a variety of contexts: distance, contact or blended learning. The emphasis on collaborative editing and ease of access in a highly customisable yet very secure environment renders Wikispaces can be exploited by users of all ages and levels of proficiency. Teaching/Learning ideas:  Organise and deliver course content in a variety of formats.  Organise assignment work, deliver contents, keep track of grades, attendance, and feedback.  Encourage project work in classroom and task-based learning activities.  Have learners edit each other's assignment work.  Get classroom feedback.  Provide learners with further resources, additional reading, videos to watch, useful links and resources.  Assign each learner their own individual page, where they can upload their work and receive comments and feedback.  Keep records of learner work and progress.  Help learners and educators create their own professional e-Portfolio. Example of implementation Type of lesson: Teacher Development Lesson Title: Using Wikispaces as a class syllabus Age group: Applicable to all levels and types of lessons Number of students involved: 30 Duration: 90 minutes (basic outline)   Introduction: The aim of the presentation is to explain how collaborative tools as Wikispaces can be used as a class syllabus. Lead-in: T discusses the idea of on-line class syllabi and that includes course information such as a list of required textbooks, necessary prerequisite courses, assignment due dates, and other expectations. Then, the possibilities of taking advantage of Wiki tools while designing a course are commented on. T introduces the concept of Wikispaces and explains how to operate the application, show the basic options and discuss what the usage might be. Then he explains the goal of the course – to compose an on-line syllabus for one of their lessons. Lesson flow: Participants will work individually or in pairs to compose the basic outline of an imaginative course or use some of their real courses as inspiration and basis for further expanding and use. Typically, the sections that an on-line syllabus might include are course information, course requirements, attendance, grading criteria, week-byweek schedule, recommended study literature and online resources, course assignments, course documents, bookmark course websites, eg. Delicious. At the end of the session, a basic outline of the class personalised dictionary should be built. Follow up: The outline of the syllabi can be reviewed, expanded, updated and edited as many times as wished. This way, SS can keep track of what the aims and requirements of the course are and organize how to meet them.

Other issues     You can embed Glogs using the Glogster EDU into your Wikispaces services. A Blogger account can be added to your wiki too. Visitors can read your blog right from the wiki. Add videos from You Tube to your Wikispaces wiki. Add chat to your wiki using Gabbly.

This Factsheet is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 2.0 License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

3
The project Autonomous “Personal Learning Networks” for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful