Sunday, December 20, 2009

The world of wikis

I have just come across a very useful article on how 'non-profit' organisations are using wikis.

As many of you will know I have been using wikispaces for many years to assist with online classes and as a communication channel for assessor networks.

It is surprising that even though they have been around for a while there are still a lot of people out there who are not sure how to use them or even see a use for them. This article gives the reader an insight into several different organisations and how they are using Wikis to promote collaboration, comnunication and sharing in their organisations. I encourage you to go and have a look at each site and report back via this blog your comments.

I would also like to start a discussion here to provide some tips to our readers on 'how to use wikis to promote collaboration in the classroom and online classroom'. Another important aspect is 'how can you use a wiki with students where the student generates the majority of the content, not the teacher?'.

Don't be passive, let's get this conversation happening.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

PREZI a newcomer tipped to replace PowerPoint in training

Have you had a chance to play with

This is such a great tool but I have to say it wasn't easy to work out the first time I tried.

To view an example access:

So what makes this product so unique?

First of all it is a simple registration. There is no special software required and there are no slides. Sessions can be created online and then downloaded for use as a flash type movie (downloads as a large zip file) without needing the internet to play.

The downside was it was not easy to work out and beginners can have problems with the screen enlarging with no way to actually get back to a smaller screen (my tip save and close your file and re-open it again). There were no written help instructions that acted as a how to guide but there are a multitude of video files you can watch to learn how to use it.

Another problem is when you click on the screen it changes the view of your document. Most of the time it became quite small and it was difficult to revert back to normal size. My tip here also is to refresh your screen until you become familiar with Prezi.

Another way to resize your text is to click on the Place circle and click on the text you will see a large blue circle with lines going different directions to indicate different parts of the circle. Point to the outer edge of the circle, hold down your left mouse and spin your circle and your text will rotate.

If you point to the next layer of the circle you can enlarge or decrease your text size.

If you point to the inner circle you can move you text around your screen.
To help my teachers use this tool I developed a simple PDF how to guide.

If it is of use I can send it to you.