What in the World is a Wiki?

Signing Up

To sign up for the WNY-PLP wiki you will want to Join the WNY-PLP wiki. To do this you need a valid email account. Once you get to this page you will need to create a login, and have the option to create your own space if you would like. You may want to wait on creating your own space if you aren't sure what you are going to do with it.

If you do want to create your own wiki you must select yes in the Make a Space selection, and then give it a name. Pick something unique and don't add spaces or funny characters. Once you have done that you will receive a confirmation email. saying that you are now a member of WNY PLP wikispaces.

external image wikispacesJoin.png

Basic Concepts

Wikis are great for document things, organizing events, and keep projects organized. Wikis are similar to white boards in that they are editable, however the wikis also keep you from worrying about accidentally erasing something. Lets take a look at Wikis in Plain English by Common Craft.

The Tabs and the Tool Bars


As our friends at Common Crafts explained there are some basic tabs that a wiki has. edit, history, and discussion. Each has an important function. The edit button being the most important, allowing you to add your edits to the page. Each time a page is edited this causes an additional page to be updated, that is the history page. The history page keeps track of the who's and whats of the editing process. The discussion page is the page where the article is debated and commented on for example the recent wildfires in the San Francisco has a discussion page. As this page is being written people are updating what they have available, and the lack of information due to circumstances.

Tool bar

Wikispaces has a nice Visual Editor tool bar so that you can do basic functions within the wiki without having to know any wiki markup language. The tool bar is normally stuck to the top of a page when you click on the edit tab. The tool bar lets you do common edits such as formatting text, adding links, adding images, and other objects. You can also undock the tool bar, so it floats on top of your browser window. To do this simply click the floating tool bar button on the editor.

external image wikispacestools.png

From xkcd.com
From xkcd.com

The Task @ Hand

Adding your own information to this wiki and collaborating with others. Now we would like you to start contributing and trying out this wiki. I would like you to try the following;
  1. First Edit your own profile to tell a little about yourself.
  2. Enter the Sandbox to try some basic editing. Don't worry it is almost impossible to break a wiki.
  3. In the discussion tab on this page I would like to hear any feedback on this introduction as well as any initial ideas on how a wiki might be used in a school setting.

Editing your profile

To start with you might want to edit your profile page. I tend to use mine for taking notes and placing important things that I want be available at the click of a button. So go ahead and create your profile. Simply click on your name at the top of the page and then click on the edit profile link.

Add To the Sandbox

I have created a simple Sandbox for you to practice editing in. This will allow you to try things out without harming a page.

Other Information and Examples

There are a lot of wikis out there, and there are a lot of opinions on why they are good and why they are bad. I would ask that you not think of a wiki in the sense of Wikipedia.