Whip Up a Working Wiki in Sixty Seconds or Less!

National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) 2009 -- in Washington, D.C.
BYOL (bring-your-own-laptop) Session, Wednesday, July 1, 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Session Description

Make your own wiki – even if it’s your first! Make old wikis more effective and useful. Or upgrade one. Leave with a working wiki!

NECC Theme and Strand

Web/Internet/Web 2.0 – 21st-Century Teaching & Learning


Type: All; Level: All; Skill: Beginner


Wireless ready laptop with Internet Browser (Firefox will be needed for Mac laptops – it is recommended that it be preloaded to avoid delay during session -- http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/ )


NETS•S: 2, 5, 6; NETS•T: 2, 3, 4; NETS•A: 2, 3, 6

Proposal Summary

Wikis are one of the most accessible and yet powerful of web 2.0 tools. Easily providing a quick web presence for any educator without any required web design skills, knowledge, or experience. And yet a wiki is a powerfully interactive tool for online collaboration and publishing. Wikis may be edited by one person, a controlled group of people, or anyone – and still provides for the ability to recover previous versions in case something goes wrong. In addition, wikis can embed a wide variety of other web 2.0 tools, giving it tremendous potential for communications, creativity, collaboration, and on-going learning.
While this hands-on BYOL session will focus on the beginner, I will also share capabilities that will allow intermediate users to enhance existing wikis to make them more interesting and more useful. At the same time, I will make a point of sharing a wide variety of ways of using wikis for educational purposes – from a simple web presence to world-wide collaboration involving students, teachers, and experts alike. I will also share ways to organize and manage wikis for maximum educational benefit including how to use with students as well as using wikis for professional development. We will look at wikis I have created and used as well as other good examples of educational wikis.

I will also share how to keep track of changes made to a wiki by others. We will also look at ways to work around the restriction that only one person at a time can edit a wiki page. Finally, we will consider when to use a wiki and when other tools can be more effective.
Participants will have a working wiki at the end of the session with an understanding of how to manage and maintain the wiki to achieve the purpose they have for their wiki.


In order to accommodate varying experiences and comfort levels of participants, materials will be available on my wiki site to provide step-by-step visual instructions to accompany directions during the presentation, and there will be materials to extend the session experience for those that may want to and be able to move ahead of others.

    • B. Poll participants to form common purpose pairs/triads
      • i. Teachers planning to use wiki with students
      • ii. Educators planning to use wiki for own professional purpose
      • iii. Educators planning to use wikis for professional development
  • II. Getting Started (5 minutes)
    • A. Wikispaces – 350,000 free educator wikis (Plus subscription)
    • B. Setting Permissions
      • i. Public – Anyone can edit
      • ii. Protected – Anyone can view; only members can edit
      • iii. Private – Only members may view or edit
  • III. Determining Purpose to Guide Design with Examples (10 minutes)
    • A. Display student work or classroom information
    • B. Display or create work by multiple contributors (teachers, students, etc.)
    • C. Present information that will be changing
    • D. Present information that is expected to grow and expand (based on contributions from limited contributors or anyone)
  • IV. Basic Design (10 minutes)
    • A. Colors
    • B. Logo
  • V. Editing (10 minutes)
    • A. Mac users must use Firefox, not Safari
    • B. Floating Editor
    • C. Text
    • D. Links
    • E. Images and Files
    • F. Widgets
    • G. Tables
  • VI. Embedding Special Capabilities (10 minutes)
    • A. Table of Contents
    • B. Flickr slideshow
    • C. PollDaddy and/or Poll Everywhere
  • VII. Tracking Changes (5 minutes)
    • A. Specific Pages
    • B. Entire Site
  • VIII. Q and A (5 minutes)




• Apple Distinguished Educator, 2007
• Educational Technology Facilitator (Administrative & Supervisory position), Lower Merion School District, Ardmore, PA
• NECC Presenter: 2002 (San Antonio), 2005 (Philadelphia), 2008 (San Antonio)
• Pennsylvania Educational Technology Exposition & Conference (PETE&C) Presenter: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
• Pennsylvania Classrooms for the Future (CFF) Coaches Boot Camp Presenter: 2007, 2008
• Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) Presenter: 2006
• Instructor for 8 years, “Mentoring Educators in Curricular Integration of Technology” (approved for Continuing Professional Education credit by the Pennsylvania Department of Education); recently expanded the approved course to 3 credits with blended and fully online delivery options; address the following major topics: Technology Standards and 21st Century Learning, Teacher Competencies, Understanding by Design, Differentiated Instruction, Complex Thinking Skills and Constructivism, Project-Based Learning, and Mentoring.
• More than 15 years experience leading professional development workshops and seminars at the district, county, state, and national level.