Category Archives: wiki

Podcasts and multimedia: Activities 1 – 3 (4 is optional)

As the weeks go on we are discovering how many of the technologies featured in the programme can be integrated and enhanced by being used together.  So in this activity you’ll be having a go at utilising the technologies from previous weeks (blogs, wikis and RSS) with podcasts and online video.

Activity #1 – Pick your podcatcher and subscribe to some podcasts

In Week 3 you will have created an account with Bloglines or Google Reader and both of these readers can be used to subscribe to podcasts using RSS.

Or try something new and download iTunes and use that as your podcatcher.

There are podcasts on just about every subject under the sun so try and find ones which are of personal or professional interest to you – that way you’ll enjoy listening to them!

Step 1 – search for a podcast

Try using a couple of different podcast search engines such as iTunes, Podcastalley, Podcastdirectory, Everyzing and Podomatic and compare the results.  Remember you can also use Google or Yahoo; just add ‘podcast’ as a keyword in your search.

Step 2 – subscribe

When you’ve found your podcast you need to subscribe to it.  Look for the familiar orange RSS logo, or you may even see a handy button saying ‘Subscribe using iTunes, GoogleReader, Bloglines etc.  Alternatively look for the RSS feed URL and copy and paste that into your chosen podcatcher.

If you need a refresher on RSS then head back to the Week 3 post and activities on RSS, or contact the Learning 2.0 team.

Subscribe to at least 3 podcasts and then get your headphones on and have a listen to a couple.

Activity #2 – Create an account with YouTube or Google Video

Step 1 – register

If you’ve previously created an account with Google Reader then Google Video should recognise and you’re good to go.  Registering with YouTube just takes a few seconds.

Step 2 – search for some videos

Both Google Video and YouTube allow you to search for videos using keywords.  Have a go and see if you can find anything of interest. Try searching for ‘libraries’ and see what happens!

Step 3 – add some favourites and RSS feeds

Once you’ve found some videos you like try and make them a favourite, or set up an RSS feed so you’ll know when videos featuring similar content is added.

To find out more about these features go to the YouTube or Google Video help pages.

Activity #3 – Add media to your blog and wiki page

Step 1 – add audio to your blog

Follow these instructions to add audio files to your blog.  Think about copyright though!  You can find ‘podsafe’ music on Podsafe Audio, Jamendo and opsound.

Step 2 – add video to your blog and wiki page

If you haven’t done this already try adding a video to your blog and your wiki page.

Activity #4 – Become a podcaster! (Entirely optional)

If you think this podcasting lark sound easy then why not try it for yourself!

Step 1 – find out what you need to do

Try these quick tutorials which provide a good overview of the equipment and software you need to podcast, as well as tips on how to make your podcast great!

Step 2 – get some software

Audacity is free audio software for recording and editing your podcast.  It’s easy to use but these tutorials will help get you started.

Step 3 – podcast!

If you do podcast please let your fellow participants know and let them listen to your masterpiece.

Wikis: activities 1 – 4

This week we’ve been looking at wikis.

Below are some activities to get you using and exploring this technology.  Have a go, but if you get stuck remember you can email us at learning2.0@imperial.ac.uk and we’ll do our best to help!

Activity #1 – RSVP please!

Check your inbox (we will be sending the invites to your Hotmail accounts) – you should have received an invitation from WetPaint to join the Learning 2.0 wiki.

Please accept the invite and head on over to the wiki and register with WetPaint so you can start Activity#2.

Can’t find your invite?

First try checking your Junk mail folder in Hotmail – it may be in there.

Second – email the Learning 2.0 team and we’ll invite you again!

Activity#2 – get wiki-ing!

Go to the Learning 2.0 wiki at http://wikilearning20.wetpaint.com/

You may need to sign in with the WetPaint username and password you created in Activity#1. To do this click on the ‘Member sign in’ button in the middle of the screen.

Once you’ve signed in you’re ready to create your first page!

  • Find the wiki pages navigation menu on the left of the screen
  • Click on ‘Add page’
  • Give your page a name. We suggest you use your name in here so other participants can find your page easily. So call it ‘Frank’s page’ for example.
  • Click the ‘add page’ button and your page has been created!

Now you need to add some content.

  • Click on the ‘EasyEdit’ button at the top of the screen. This will make your page ‘live’ and you’ll be able to enter text. You can write about anything you like.
  • Use the ‘East Edit toolbar’ to format your text, try using bold, adding bullet points etc.
  • When you’ve finished click on the ‘Save’ button in the ‘Easy Edit toolbar’.

Take a look at my page – it took less than 5 minutes to create. Yours will be much better!

Activity#3 – collaborate

Ask one of your fellow Learning 2.0 participants to be your wiki ‘buddy’.  Why not try sending them an IM to do this? Or you could just go over to their desk and ask them…up to you.

Find out what their pages are called and start editing and adding to them.

And if you’ve got time…

Activity#4 – explore

Try some of the other features of WetPaint wikis.

Create some new pages using different templates.

Use the Discussion forum to start a conversation with fellow participants

Use the ‘widget’ button in the Easy Edit toolbar to add video and other media to your page.

 

Week 2: wikis

In this second week we’ll be looking at wikis.

What is a wiki?

Wiki is taken from the Hawaiian word ‘wiki wiki’ meaning quick or swift. In Web 2.0 terms a wiki is a website in which content can be added, edited and changed by a group of members which means a wiki is great way of people working together and collaborating online.

The daddy of all wikis is of course Wikipedia. This free encyclopaedia allows anyone to edit or create new ‘pages’. So, for example, if you had information you wanted to contribute to the Wikipedia Web 2.0 page you could do so very quickly and easily and everyone viewing that page would be able to see you what you’d added.

How do wikis work?

Rather like the blogs we looked at last week one of the benefits of wikis is that you don’t need any special techie skills to create or use them. Wiki software is designed to be intuitive and employs a WYSIWYG interface so no need to learn HTML – although some wiki software allows you to do extra whizzy stuff in a form of HTML called Wikitext or Wiki Markup. Wiki software can either be downloaded onto your PC, or is hosted on the web (like your blogs) and you just log in and start working.

As well as being able to create and edit your own pages, you can also do this to content added by other users. Tracking tools in wikis also allow you to see the ‘history’ of a page; who edited it, what changes/additions they made etc. There is usually a ‘revert’ feature where you can reinstate a previous version of a page if it’s better than the new one!

How do you start a wiki?

There are lots of companies offering free wikis out there. The one we’ll be using for this weeks activity is called WetPaint but there are loads of others. Some offer specific features and functionality and if you’d like to explore other wikis and see what they offer then go on over to the WikiMatrix which has a long list of wikis and what they can do.

Are all wikis open to everyone?

No, the ethos of sites like Wikipedia is to be open and allow anyone to contribute – a wonderful idea, but this can cause problems. However, in most cases you will only want certain people to be able to contribute or even to see your wiki, especially if you’re using it in a work context.

Generally wiki software has levels of privacy and security which you can set according to your needs. For example, in our Learning 2.0 wiki you’ll be invited to join and become a writer/contributor – if you’re not on the list, you’re not getting in! The College has its own wiki software which has very strict privacy controls and is only open to College members.

How is the library using wikis?

IRD have now put their procedures onto a wiki (N.B. the wiki is on the staff intranet so you need to log in to see it) as it allows all members of the team to update information for staff in this fast moving sector.

The Learning 2.0 team have a wiki which helps us with the admin and organisation of the programme – although this hasn’t weaned us off email!

During the IRMAP last year the Natural Sciences team created wiki for sharing all those many versions of spreadsheets and organising workflows – we really found it useful.

Many other libraries and organisations are starting to use wikis in projects which require collaboration and document sharing.

Ready to start this week wiki activities? They are just a click away.

Further reading/watching

Library success wiki – created by Meredith Farkas (she’s a bit of a Library 2.0 guru) as a space for librarians to promote all the great things they are doing in their libraries and for others to pick up ideas and inspiration.

Wiki Wiki Webs: new ways to communicate in a web environment by Brenda Chawner and Paul Lewis – a paper which discusses the merits of different wiki software and how libraries are implementing wikis.

Wikis in plain English from the Common Craft Show – another great little film from Common Craft which tells you all you need to know about wikis in under 4 minutes.