Wikispaces workshop notes

At my hands-on wikispaces workshops at the Engage your community mini-conference on 22 April, a couple of participants raced into action and set up trial Wikispaces for their organisations. Wikispaces covering accessible parking, a walking school bus and the Otorohanga arts project went online within the 75 minute session.

75 minutes sounds a lot of time to cover the basics of editing a wikispaces page. Because I was foiled somewhat by not being able to use my teaching aids (the curse of Apple users I suspect) my plans had to be adapted off the cuff. I supplied participants with text to enter into the wiki and planned to walk through the basic editing process. This didn’t happen as I envisaged but everyone seemed to cope. It’s amazing how resource people within the group will surface to share what they know given the chance.

In the end we achieved the goals I set out: introduce people to wiki editing including embedding multi-media such as You Tube clips, and getting people to think about how a wiki could suit project work, or their organisation more generally.

The resulting Engage your community wikispace is still online. (NB it needs some work to be fully accessible, a topic we couldn’t cover in the time available.) For a copy of the workshop presentation and notes, see my training page.

A couple of the things I neglected to mention were:

  • wikispaces is run by a profit making company from the USA. They’re big but nevertheless subject to takeovers (like Yahoo) so it’s not totally secure long-term, and to earn a buck they do run Google ads on the free websites.
  • for wikispaces organisers you’ve got lots of powerful functions (eg messages to group messages, customising the skin, manual back-up, mass uploading of files using WebDav, etc)
  • it’s easy to delete an account from wikispaces: login and go to your “My Account” page.

I’m running a 45 minute version of the workshop in a couple of weeks, with modifications based on what happened in Kirikiriroa Hamilton.

I’m planning to list any wikispaces that are publicly available, if I can find the website addresses.

PS Miramar Mike’s help during the workshop was fantastic. Thanks heaps!!

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