Saturday, November 05, 2005

Wiki News Update

I still haven't figured out how I will integrate wikis into my current curriculum. However, the tools I can use keep getting better.

I heard from David Weekly yesterday. He's the founder of the elegant PBWiki. He says that as of last night, "we have bumped up pbwiki users' upload space to 10MB for free users and 1000MB for Premium users. We have no limit on the size or number of wiki pages." That is great news. They also added new features, including easy tables, the ability to preview changes before making them, and the ability to see who made changes to the wiki.

That last feature is a key one for me. Over the years, I've seen too many collaborative student tech projects vandalized or even destroyed by one anonymous user. If the students understand from the start that we can see who has made changes, those students will most likely seek other outlets for their destructive tendencies. Or, they may just get hold of someone else's password and log in as them. Hopefully their low level of tech skills will work to our advantage in this area.

I also heard from Adam over at Wikispaces. He told me...
We're free, we don't have any restrictions on the size of your spaces, the number of images you can upload, or the number of spaces you can have. We use creative commons licensing by default for public spaces, although you can change that if you like. We strive to be really easy to use for non-technical people. And we have a particular interest in wikis in education. We have a lot of teachers and students doing cool things on the site already.
I was thinking of using the wiki module in Moodle. The fine folks at Moodle are in transition from their current wiki module to DFWiki which looks to be powerful and well integrated with the other Moodle modules. However, I'm not yet using Moodle with my students; I am still going through the set up process with that, so I think I'll use one of these two stand alone wiki options and let David and Adam deal with the tech side of things for me.