ASU Wiki Workshop

Last night, my friend and colleague Tom Foster invited be as a “guest expert” (hah!) for a class he is teaching at Arizona State University, “Social and Ethical Issues in Educational Media”. The students were all K-12 teachers, librarians, and media specialists, and they had amazing, heroic energy for a group who had worked all day with kids, then put up with technology stuff from 5-9 PM.

The class had already reviewed issues in Copyright and Fair Use, and Tom asked be to take the turn from the messages of what they cannot do in terms of using media found on the web, to one of, what they can do.

So I took a cue from Brian Lamb, and set up the who workshop in a wiki, Finding (and Using!) Good Free Stuff.

I have been a fan of Brian’s approach at UBC of making the wki his presentation outline and activity focus as well. First of all, it is very quick to build. You can easily re-dploy the same content for a different workshop be either editing the titles or copying to a new wiki page. But best of all, you can expose people gently and subtly to the wiki way.

Anyhow, the focus of last night’s session was to introduce the class to the value of using media resource sites marked by Creative Commons licenses, where the re-usage is more clearly defined. We provided a longer laundry list of media resource sites where they might find relevant media items.

Then for an activity, we had them spend time at these sites, locate a media item they can cite as useful in their teaching area, and we had the post a summary to a FoundFreeStuff wiki. I was pleasantly surprises that all 16 of them managed to get one or two wiki items added, despite the freakish things IE was doing to the web pages and the weird things that happen when wiki editing collides (on the spot problem-solving- create a second open wiki page).

Some observations:

  • There are a lot of assumptions that just because a web site has the word “Free” in it, or in the URL, that the stuff there really is free to take and use.
  • It is not clearly defined on US Government web sites whether the content truly falls under public domain as being products of the government (more research needed here.
  • None of these teachers knew what a blog or a wiki was. I provided them the URLs for the Stephen Downe’s new EDUCAUSE article on Educational Blogging and Brian Lamb’s one on wiki spaces. Since they were k-12 teachers, I made sure they saw Will’s Weblogg-ed site (it was 9:00 PM when one teacher asked , “What is RSS?”– that we told her, was another whole class session!).
  • Copyright and use of media is as muddy as ever.

Update: Sept 1
Tom sent some copies of the class comments gathered in the course discussion area…

This is really neat. I know it will get easier with practice. It was interesting to see all the places everyone listed.

I like the starting point to find “free stuff” on the internet to use in my classroom. I found a couple of sites that will fit in with what I am currently teaching.

Very informative and useful. I like freebees

Took quite a while to understand how to get on but in the end I found quite a lot of images I can use for the classroom and that my students can use for their presentations. Just want to find text, or information on weather (found 1), oceans and historical information (world). Will continue to search and use.

What a great exercise in class. This can help you wade through all the junk! You can spend hours looking for just the right thing. This way can help you focus and give you direction.

This is a totally new concept to me, but from an educator’s standpoint of point of view, this is a great tool. I want to find out how we can have a wiki within the district in certain disciplines.

It did take a little bit longer for me to get posted. Once I did, I can see the value in learning activities like the one tonight.

Alan presented an informative presentation. I confess I’ve never heard of a Wiki before, but I can see its benefit and uniqueness. I can also see opportunity for abuse, particularly if I turned something like that loose with a bunch of middle school kids. I’ve allowed kids to use a monitored email service in the past and, although it was beneficial to many, some of the kids abused it, got caught (by me) and turned something beneficial into a managemental/police/enforcement pain-in-the-butt. – I do think I’ll use a couple of the tutorials I found through the creativecommons search engine. Interesting stuff!

I agree that Wiki’s can be abused. I appreciate the fact that at least we know how to access it.

What a great resource for finding stuff. Although I didn’t have time in the activity, but if this stuff is high resolution I now have a new tool for searching for clip art.

I’m certainly going to explore this in much more detail to see what other things I can get from it. It would be nice to know how to refine searches to be able to get more directly relevant material, or less. Even when searching just for images I got alot of text related sites.

I’m not sure of the benefits of Wiki. As in how it would be useful to the audience I work with.

With all these copyright, fair use, and social and ethical issues, this business of Wiki webpages and FREE STUFF is awesome! I am already working with second graders and making PowerPoint presentations in the lab this year. These ideas will not only ease my mind, but make it MUCH easier to search for the information we need. This will be a great and interesting twist when teaching copyright.

Ok, where did you go for the clip art? What I found was too basic and I need stuff to help my ESL students understand the language.

I can see how the Wiki can be beneficial. I am interested to see the “pedia” part and how accurate it would be for research. Again my concern would be the accuracy. I would not want my kids gathering and documenting incorrect info!

I found it hard to find the right images. Google seems to be easier to find images and sounds. I wish I could have found more websites for my topic of weather. I found it to be difficult.

I typed in ‘clip art’, and defined my search for specific pics. What was frustrating was trying to define my search for specific things

I thought the information about creative commons was quite interesting. It is nice to know that if you see the creative commons license logo on a site, you then can use the site without worrying about getting in trouble.

Then the “Wiki” thing was pretty weird, cool but weird. I’m not so sure about people being able to go in and change my stuff.

I liked finding all the free stuff you don’t have to worry about asking for permission. The Wiki is a cool idea that people can add to but it can definately be abused. I liked how we got to experiment with the site and add our own sites. I found it a little difficult at first to navigate and find what I was looking for. Great presentation and activity.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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