Monday, February 10, 2014

Revisiting Wikis

After copping to being a little OCD in my Diigo post, it pains me to break my linear flow to go back in time and revisit Week 3 but it must be done.

Our assignment last week was to explore a few wiki sites, and then create our own. I spent a good several days trying to figure out what the heck I was going to start a wiki about. Our professor gave us leeway that it didn't have to be education-related, which helped, but I was still floundering a bit.

I took a first pass using Wikispaces to create a travel wiki for Outer Cape Cod but really struggled with inserting pictures appropriately, and then got frustrated with the topic altogether.

I abandoned that one and decided to try PB Works next. To my surprise, I already had an account set up - I had completely forgotten that the final project for the LBS class I took in the fall of 2010 was to set up a wiki that could be used in a school library. It was helpful to look back on what I had done, but for this assignment, I wanted to start fresh and do something totally different, so I created a wiki for my book club who does things the exact opposite way as is recommended in this excellent Common Craft video on wikis.

 I still struggled some with the layout, and it’s a little more basic than I would have liked, but it encouraged me to think about how to structure the site to encourage collaboration (which is the point of a wiki in the first place, especially for classroom/library use). It was also interesting to note some differences between this effort and the one from 2010; notably, the poll, calendar, and forum plug-ins were all considerably easier to figure out this time around (probably a combination of more advanced tools, given the 3 year gap, as well as a shorter learning curve since I’ve been down the wiki road before).

It’s still a work in progress – I got some tips from my professor on how to improve the navigation, and I would like to jazz up the layout a bit. We’ll see if it actually helps us become more organized or even (gasp!) talk more about the books we choose – if so, I’ll be sure to update.

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