external image wiki.gif

For my first Wiki, I chose Mr. Lindsay’s Classroom. I was interested in exploring how other teachers use Wiki pages to deliver class content.

Organization and Content: Utilizing commonly understood icons, Mr. Lindsay has organized a Classroom grouping, A curriculum grouping and “other stuff” – including About the site, About the teacher, Resources for Educators and Tech Bytes.
The classroom window includes: homework, teacher blog, student blogs, brainteasers and news and events. Looks like there is a “.gif” that lost its link for Parent Help Desk.
Tools Used: Mr. Lindsay’s blog was interesting. He included small screen casts with each instructional step, adding the visual with text. He included plenty of links on his curriculum page.
Under Tech bytes he had: At the beginning of a new school year, it's a great time to clear out Zimbra. Many of the problems that people have during the year are related to the fact that they are forcing Zimbra to hold onto a virtual ton of old emails that should be cleared to free up space.
Here's how to do just that.
Learning Outcomes: It was a way to organize his class, add additional data, give class assignments and ensure work was done.
Do better: Once in his blog, I couldn’t find a way to easily navigate back to home. Overall needs a hardier navigation bar. Brainteasers had only one puzzle. Simplistic cartoon icons are good, but sparse and other lack color.
Do differently: His site froze and crashed when attempting to open the larger tabs, like Literature. Obviously too much memory used up or maybe images to large? Not sure.

For my second Wiki, I chose Dirtopia.
Organization: The home page looks like Wikki, which is interesting as it instantly gave a “creative commons” feel to it. And this site is that – collaborative.
It is three columned, with the two major column well sectionalized with titles.
There is fixed navigation both on top of the pages and along the left hand column.
Content: Diropia is a free, collaborative, site for off-road trails set up just like a Wikki page so that anyone can edit it.
Tools Used: An interactive map of the USA, allows you to home in on the pages designated for that particular state.
Learning Outcomes: Nice tool box, nice easy to search features. It’s an excellent Idea. I wonder how large servers have to be if you were to manage a site like this or one more extensive for teacher’s presentations organized by subject and again by grades…
Do better: A number of pages I clicked on have no text and say so. In fact, all but 3 pages under Oregon have no text. Not sure why.
Do differently: I hate ads, but I understand the site is free.

For my last Wiki, I chose to pick one from the Edublog – Best Wikki’s Page. This was an English blog.
Organization and Content: It had fixed navigation bar on the LH side. As the page moved down, messages to Send a voice message, and Share type buttons moved with you.
Very brightly colored images, well-done graphics including fantasy creatures allowed you to move around the classroom.
Tools Used: The site played some loud song after a few minutes. It was annoying when it wouldn’t shut off, but it allows you to use it.
She used animation to “welcome” you, fly a flag and wave to show she had one Best Educational Wiki for 2013.
Learning Outcomes: The idea was to encourage reading and there were placed to record your views and post. The page looked like a bunch of post-its. I like the creativity, and I like the students recording their views, but I’m not sure about the post-it look.
Do better: The end of voice message pop up had to be clicked off to shut it off, that forced me to make motions and clicks I don’t want to. I am fine with an initial pop-up to inform of a feature I may not know about, but don’t keep it fixed.
She went overboard on the animated icons. Hearts spilled across the contents page and some of them blocking out Unit headings. A bit too distracting.
Do differently: The share buttons are fixed on the LH side and actually block out some of the navigation headings. They should be kept on the top or bottom or sides of each specific page, not just fixed/flexible to scroll on the main page.