Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thing 15

I finally understand wikis a little better. I know I have used them, Wikipedia and the Mesquite ISD Library Policies and Procedures, etc., but I wasn't totally clear on what it was and the benefits. The Common Craft video was a great, simple introduction. I love how collaborative wikis appear and their ease of use. They are almost like a grocery list you can just quickly add one more thing as it comes to mind. Wikis don't take speacial software and can be edited from any computer. I really like the ideas behind several of the wikis I explored. I loved the subject guide wiki by the St. Joseph County Public Library. I like that is was quick,visual and informal. I wondered about possibly doing an interest wiki based on the easy and fiction areas. Students always want scary books, or teachers want books about snow. Our catalog system locates some of those books, but others might fit into the areas also. Sometimes it is a case of matching the student's terminology and search terminology. It would also be great for teachers to share books with common teaching elements. Everyone is looking for books to support the curriculum, so a wiki woukd be a great way to share the thoughts and ideas. Another wiki I explored, McDowell's AP World History Wiki, was a great example of how teachers could use the wiki to keep all the students and parents informed and involved. Many parents in the elementary school ask for second and third copies of project guidelines because orginals never make it home. This wiki is a great way to have that information available for everyone at all times. Plus the wiki had some samples posted to show ideas on the expectations of the project. It appeared very useful, and once created, it is so easy to update, edit, change, etc from semester to semester. I will now be looking at how I can spread the word about wikis to teachers and figuring how they can be used in my library program.

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