A teacher who I have mentioned here often was picking my brain about wikis and how he might use them in class. We were talking specifically about the idea of having students write a collective text for the Media Literacy class that each subsequent class could build upon and update (a la the WikiBooks site.) It’s such a cool concept and constructivist learning at its best. And it’s made me start learning more about the best wiki sites and formatting and all the stuff we’ll need to figure out before we put our collective toe in the water. Oughta be interesting.
Great thing is that a number of sites have been pointing to the wiki that blogger J.D. Lasica has set up to assist with the editing of his upcoming book “Darknet: Remixing the Future of Movies, Music and Television.”
Goal: In the spirit of open media and participatory journalism, I’d like to use this wiki to publish drafts of each chapter in the book. I hope you’ll participate in this effort by contributing feedback, edits, criticism, corrections, and additional anecdotes, either through the comments field below or by sending me email. Feel free to be as detailed as you like or to insert comments or questions. After all, you’re the editor. (And remember, this is for a book manuscript, not a finished online document.) If you make a couple of helpful edits, I’ll mention your name in the book’s Acknowledgments (and buy you a drink next time we meet up).
Request: This is an experiment in trust. Feel free to dive in and make all the changes you think are warranted. I’ve opened this up as a public wiki, rather than a private space. Feel free to link to this main page from your blog, though I’ll also ask at this early stage that people not excerpt material or dissect any of the material in detail because we’re not at the public discussion point yet.
And how easy is this:
How to proceed: It’s simple. Select a chapter there on the right. If you want to make an edit or insert a comment, hit the Edit This Page button.
I went into edit mode and started reading, and to be honest it felt really weird having the ability to CHANGE stuff that he had written. (I didn’t change anything, by the way.) I’m wondering how high school students will deal with this situation. But I mean, the possibilities are endless…a wiki newspaper that everyone contributes to. A wiki yearbook. In fact, our school is celebrating its 50th anniversary in a couple of years, and we’ve started preparing the archives. What about a wiki archive that anyone could contribute to? Hmmm…
The burning question I need to dive into right now is how to set up a wiki with peer review before publishing additions or changes…
Alan Levine says
Thanks for the pointer to WikiBooks- a great concept, though many of the pages I saw were more like notes.. but the content is just filling in.
The “anyone can edit anything” really bends your mind until you see it in action. What can happen, maybe ideally, is that the community polices itself. As far as someone mucking up a page, the wiki admin has the power to roll back a page to any previously edited version.
There are some controls some wikis allow you to d, the easist is that onece you decide a page is “published” you can lock it from furthur changes.
Will R. says
I’m in that paranoid high school world where there could be real trouble if a ne’er do well decided to use less than appropriate language. That’s why I’d like to have a look at edits before they go live, especially if there is no way to id the user. That may be possible, I just need more time to get into it.
Robin Turk says
Just getting my first look at wikis this summer and immediately thought of our school 8th grade newsletter class. The teacher uses Word’s track changes feature and emails files back and forth with students working on beats. The logistics at times are troublesome, so I’m thinking a wiki would be great.
I immediately worried about the open content in an 8th grade environment. I like to have faith, and some control. Alan’s suggestions address some of the issues. I think a small trial run is worth while. Thanks for the boost.