TeachersFirst's **Wiki Walk-Through** will get you started with the basics of using a wiki to teach and learn. But everyone has questions.

Are you poking around this space, just curious enough to want to know more about wikis and how teachers and students use them? Or perhaps you are using a wiki but cannot find the answer to a question. This is a place to ask other TEACHERS any question, from theoretical to practical. There is no such thing as a "dumb question"! Of course, you are encouraged to reply to any questions you can answer, as well.

Do students need an email address to participate?
The answer to this is that it varies with the wiki tool. See the three detailed tool comparisons available as part of the Wiki Walk-Through:
Wikispaces (the tool you are using right now)- does not require student email...see teacher help at http://www.wikispaces.com/help+teachers
PBwiki requires an email address for each user, but you could use a teacher Gmail account with sub-accounts for each student

I tried my wiki 4 the first time with two classes. It was like jumping in with no life jacket, but that's my style. One requirement was that they do minimal research and enter it on a page (vs. discussion.) Each class was working in the computer lab, so they were all editing and entering their edits at the same time. My understanding was that all entries would appear on the page, but no go. Some were able to save and others ost their stuff.Please Explain...

This is one of the challenges of wikis. If two people have a page in "edit" mode at the same time, they will overwrite each other. It is therefore best to have separate pages for each group or student who is working. That way only one computer will be working on the page at the same time. Here is an article about the risks of overwriting and reverting pages to a previous draft: http://www.techlearning.com/article/14938

Another work around is to have a signaling system in the lab as students work--kind of traffic control. Write the names of the pages on the board and have a student who has a page open write "Open" next to it while working on it, then erase this when they save and leave the page. Of course, you could have people shouting across the room or jumping up and down to go to the board if you do not manage it well. I have actually had a traffic cop keep this same info on the lab projector (word doc) and highlight page titles that are being worked on in yellow, then remove the highlighting when saved. Students stay at their computer but tell the traffic cop," I am editing page x." The traffic cop does not get any work done, though. You will work it out!

Thanks for the info!

You could move that group development process to a Google Doc where simultaneous editing can occur and then, once the 'doc' is in final form, copy the final edit into the wiki. Until that is done, only the link would be on that page.

How do i create a discussion thread rather than everyone posting separately?
Wikispaces has terrific Help on this. In the tiny top right links on this page, go to Help > Manage Wiki > Discussion Pages. There is info there on making separate discussion topics. I can't give you a direct link to it here because it comes up as an overlay on top of the wiki page you are on (this one).

I've found only one web-based discussion thread tools that can be embedded in a wiki: Intensedebate (no remail address is required). But you could provide a link to something like Twiducate (like Twitter for classrooms; no registration required).

Is it possible to create links to other pages, yet the pages do not appear in navigation?
Yes, first create the page (from top left in Nav area: New Page). Name it and remember what you called it. Wherever you want the link to be ( while in edit mode), highlight text or image that will be the "link", click the hyperlink symbol on editing toolbar (links of a chain with a little globe), click "Choose Existing Page in the middle "wiki links" portion of the box, then select your new page from the "existing page" pulldown. (You can also link to outside URLs this way--- "External URL" portion of the hyperlink dialog box).
This is a great way to make loads of subpages and link them all back to an entry point, such as to create pages for EACH project group, all acccessible from the home page for the projects. The nav area ends up being something like the Roman numerals in an outline, with everything at number and letter levels "invisible" until you enter the Roman numeral [ignore this explanation if you are NOT an outline person!].

Where can i find my members' user names and passwords in the wiki? Just about everything you need is inside that little "Manage Wiki" link at top left, including user info. Check it out.

Most of my notes are powerpoints. I would like to make "Notes" page where students can access these powerpoints. How do I attach PPTs to a page? THANX, Catherine Madnick
I figured this out ---click the tree picture and upload, them double click and the file goes where the cursor is

I would like to consolidate discussions that have been started on various pages.
Specifically, my students have created "personal pages" and posted discussions on them. This entails about 40 separate pages, each with its own discussion. Can these be brought together on one page in the navigation area?
I think I understand the question... Try making a NEW PAGE (top left of Nav area has this option) called "Discussions" and put LINKS on it to each of the 40 pages ( type the name, highlight, hyperlink to "existing page" and choose the page from the list. Then edit the Nav area to include a link to the new page you jus made. You are essentially creating a "catch all" with links to all the student pages. I hope I understood your question correctly... (TF Editors)

Yes you do, and I had the same thought myself--to link each of the 40 pages to a catch all. Thanks

You could also list all the pages in the Nav area on the left and link to them from there.

What is Style Clean up?
I want to edit a page and a window pops up saying:
Optimize Page, Style Clean Up, Please wait while styles are being optimized
It has been running for almost an hour. It is not popping up when I try to edit other pages.

Hi. I've sent wiki help an email as I can't find anything about on the net. Cheers, Dan.

How do i add a voki to my wiki?
I made the voki, but can only copy the text not the image. Thx.
I think you can go to edit page.and at the top click on the tv, then for under "other" widgets at the bottom. paste your code and then, it should show up on your page.

Do you have to spend a lot of time teaching the students the program and how to do the technology part? I don't have a lot of extra time to teach that sort of stuff, but I love the idea of it. The "jumping in with no life jacket" part ABOVE seems very risky with my honors English high school students....How much do I need to prepare? I love the concept, but I'm worried about trouble&time versus real outcome.

If students post work, can other students "mess up" their work?
It is possible for another student to change classmate's work, but setting up some ground rules from the beginning can prevent this from occurring. The students enjoy working on the wiki, so they do not want to lose the privilege.
I would suggest that students compose using a traditional word processor and then copy to the wiki. That way if there are tech glitches or their contributions get overwritten, they have a record of their work.

The students figure out how to use the wiki fairly quickly. The students are engaged and this means they will learn more!

We are currently using the free wikispaces in our junior high. Our science teacher is using it for her portfolios, which includes group work, and our language arts teacher is using her wiki for homework submission because it allows her to offer input to her students in a fairly secure environment having to e-mail the document back and forth.
We are considering expanding our use to private label and using wikispaces as an e-portfolio that will follow students from grade to grade. I have seen very little on using wikispaces as an e-portfolio. Anyone have any thoughts or experience on this. Thanks!
Most seem to have multiple pages which could be difficult to manage. Unless each student is to have their own wiki, I assume you'll want to give each student one page in a class wiki. You might want to create some sort of template (a list of all information and work samples to be included; layout predetermined) that each student could work from to give the pages some consistency and also ensure none of the required work was missed. Then you might have to give the students instruction in how to input their own information and let them negotiate personalization of their pages. Here's a page with lots of general eportfolio information http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Learning_e-portfolio. You might also want to take a look at the work of Helen Barret at
http://electronicportfolios.org/blog/index-all-entries.htmland http://electronicportfolios.org/myportfolio/versions.html. She likes Google Sites because they are portable and the students can 'take them with them' if they move or change classes.

My name is Rondell Sibaran. I am from the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago to be exact. I am currently doing a degree programme in Early Childhood in a local University. I would like to have a response to my post as soon as possible.
There is one problem I have in a class. Most of the children come from broken homes and families which are poor. This causes the children to behave badly at school because that is what they grow up with at the home. I would like to know the best thing that could be done to get the children to perform at their best in this situation.
Thanking you in advance for a speedy response.

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