Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Neat way to organize shared material

This posts aims to explore Pbworks page for organizing the content you find online or, in my case, the content teachers in our institution find and share.

We share a lot of material through Edmodo but as much as I love Edinho (loving nickname) it is not easy to find things we shared a long time ago. Even using the tags, the search takes too long.
So, I decided to take the best material teachers were sharing and store them in place that would be easy to find.

That idea comes from the principle that: in order to make any new department work, you have to lower the cost of the transaction as much as possible while you emphasize the benefits teachers will get from it.

The place I choose to organize our material is a wiki page called Pbworks.

When we talk about Wikis there are a lot of misunderstandings as people tend to think of .....

That is right: wikipedia and assume that is the only wiki page there is.
In fact, there are many others: pbworks, wetpaint, etc.

The other question a get a lot is: " But what does it do?"

It is similar to a blog but even more collaborative.
What I mean is that while in a blog only the owner can write posts, in a wiki all participants can post, edit and change  information.
Remember that the principles of a wiki are basically:
*Knowlegde constructed by a group of people

I chose PBworks just because I had already exploited it and new a few things about the settings. It is NOT as intuitive as a blog but once you get the hang of it, things work smoothly. I promisse.

Tips: if you want a free site create more than one page and divide the material into them.

Because you only get 2Gb with each wiki and by using more than one you expand that limit considerably.

So, I created a wiki page for each group and then created another one - a Main Page- and stored the links to all the others pages. That way, teachers would have ONE place that would lead them to all the others coursebook wikis.
This is our main wiki: CCBEU GOIANIA

For every wiki there is a Host or Hostess(created using Voki) that will tell the user where he should click to find what he/she is looking for.

The links are right in the Front Page.
So, when they click on Class Wikis they will be directed to.....

There they can find all the content divided in to the courses we teach.

Let's suppose they want to access the material of Junior, whose coursebook is American Adventures.

While the CCBEU Goiania wiki is available to anyone, the coursebook wikis are password protected.
This way we make sure only the staff has acess to the material stored there.

In the Front Page of the class wiki, teachers will find Links, Videos, Quizlets and Online Exercises,  that can be used as a lead-in, assigned as homework or even to practice the content in class.
The other section of the wiki is the Files. I've selected the best material we shared to store in each unit.
As these wikis are not open to everyone, I recorded a tutorial showing teachers how to log in and how to find what hey are looking for,

Another tutorial showing how to explore it:


Ana Maria Menezes said...

Andressa, what a wonderful job you´ve done creating this wiki. You´ve inspired me to do the same but it´s hard work!

Dessa said...

Hi Ana,

It is hardwork.
I've set a deadline for myself and it is the end of the semester.
I'm on it since january and hasn't finished yet.
The good thing is: when it is finished, the teachers you assign can go on and add future files, links....

Camila Sousa said...

Wow!! How nice... Love the wiki! Congrats :-))

I don't know if you have heard or this website but it has got some great videos, listenings, and so on and so forth. Enjoy!!

Keep up the great job you've been doing!