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If you have any questions thoughts and ideas. Add these to this page. Use a Heading for your subject line and join the discussion. Use the "insert signature" button in your toolbar to sign your post.

Trialling OOo converter - feedback please

Hi - have just placed a resource for a physics field trip - it took a bit of reformatting.  Can someone have a look and see what they think please?  All feedback appreciated.  Off to end of term drinks now.  Have a great Easter. --Faye Booker 03:06, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Adding the link to your trial so its easier for others to find.
Hi Faye, I think field trips are a great idea for OERs, particularly if we design and develop these in ways which can easily be printed off for use by the learners. I think this is a very good example and with a few minor tweaks this will become a good exemplar. Nice one. (I realise that the source document may not have been designed specifically for the wiki --- but that's fine.)
I'm not a physicist -- but I think the content is excellent and from a pedagogical point of view I like the activity engagement. I have few ideas how we could tweak the layout a little to optimise use when printing the resource. We also have a few tricks and templates in the wiki to make the resource look purty. My only major comment is that where you use subheadings -- it would be better to use the subheading style, eg subheading level 3 or 4 rather than just bold text. This helps with the structuring of the wiki and autmated generation of the table of contents in the wiki.
Do you have more of these types of resources? I'd be happy to look at paying an honorarium to get more examples like this and we can also look at getting a little help from a few wiki gurus to help design a few layout templates and boiler plates to make this easier. This could be useful in financing a little release time, or a little extra cash to purchase school resources.
Great stuff!!! --Wayne Mackintosh 04:17, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Adding a template to user page

Hum I may be trying to run before I walk but as anyone worked out how to add a template to the User Page? Keen to add the infobox as featured on the UPE page but no luck so far! As you've guessed I am after the enormous cash prize on offer there! --PascaleHP 03:34, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

No worries Pascale -- I can see you're a wiki natural. During this workshop we don't cover intermediate level formatting -- however, the great feature of a wiki is that you can view the wiki syntax of any page. Just copy the syntax of a page you like over to your user page (better to use your sandbox for practising and tweaking) and have a play. Pretty soon you will be developing a master piece. You may want to take a look at how pedagogical templates work and more advanced navigation templates. Note templates use normal wiki markup and not the rich text editor. --Wayne Mackintosh 04:27, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Have fun with your journey :-) If you get stuck post future questions on the OERNZ group list as this workshop is drawing to a close :-(. --Wayne Mackintosh 04:27, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

School Wiki Page

Hi, I created a Wiki page for our school. Some of the staff are really sceptical. They are afraid that the side will get abused by students. How can I make sure that only teachers can edit the website. As far as I can see everyone who will create an account is able to edit the page. Do I have any control what other people do except of checking it and deleting unwanted items?

That's a very good question. Yes everyone who has an account can edit in the wiki. WikiEducator does not permit anonymous edits -- you must have an account in order to edit. Remember that a wiki keeps track of every single edit -- and in the case of a student vandalising a page, it is easy to revert back to the previous instance and trace the account responsible for the "abuse". We will ban the accounts of vandals on the spot. You will learn later this week how to revert an edit. Also on every page on the wiki, you will see a "Watch" tab -- you can add pages to your watchlist, if any changes are made the wiki will send you an email. You can also set up different options for watching pages in your user preferences. Incidentally, I use this feature to know when some posts a question -- I get an email telling about a change to this page. We have found these mechanisms quite realiable -- once people know there "abuse" will be noticed and traced, learners to stay away from abusing pages. --Wayne Mackintosh 02:45, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

...and what sorts of things are people thinking of using school wikis for?

I have been thinking about these issues(brought up in 'school wiki page' above), and creating our school's portal page.  In addition to Wayne's comments I think the key is working out what you are going to do with your school wiki.  If the students see it as something they are creating together, working towards either deepening their understanding or developing their creative skills, then they will be less likely to be destructive (Plus, if it is made clear to them how easily they can be tracked they will be less likely to attempt this).  I am tossing around a number of ideas for my physics learners.  For example; posting reviews of simulations with a description of what aspects of physics it helped them understand, or not as the case may be.  This would be useful for me and other teachers, plus helps the students focus in on what they know/understand.  How are others thinking about using schools wikis? - --Faye Booker 09:38, 29 March 2010 (UTC)  - by the way I still can't get the time right on my signature - any ideas?

Hi Faye, great to see the flow of ideas. I agree, deciding on what you want to use the wiki for will help in designing the processes and how you implement individual projects. Wiki's are very flexible technologies in that the user has the power to configure and design the project in ways that will work for the project owner -- as opposed to the constraints of the database as typically the case with content management systems. Learning how to collaborate online in a virtual community is very much a life skill. Providing children safe environments where they refine these collaborative learning skills must be good for education :-) You know what they say -- if you want to learn something, teach it! At the same time, we shouldn't forget the power of these technologies for teachers collaborating as a community of professional practice. Teaching can be a "lonely" profession from the perspective that we spend more time interacting with our learners than interacting with our professional peers. Projects like WikiEducator open doors for us to collaborate with our peers. A teacher in the Kaitaia can very easily collaborate on sharing and creating learning materials and activities with a teacher in Riverton in the deep South - -that's very powerful and rewarding. I hink the school portal pages can be used for both teacher and student collaboration. In time, if the need for a dedicated national wiki for use by our learners is needed - -we can easily set this up. It would also be possible for us to integrate this with single sign on solutions being piloted by the Ministry of Education. Great ideas and looking forward to seeing how this evolves.
BTW the time display of signatures defaults to the server time -- is how the Mediawiki software works. You're not doing anything wrong. If you have set your local time in the preferences, all the other time displays like the recent changes list will reflect the local time. --Wayne Mackintosh 20:40, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Pascale Hyboud-Peron -- Thoughts and suggestions when a session times out

Before I start answering, I thought I d just share this as a little "editing' warning: I wrote earlier a rather lengthy answer to these questions on the editor, but my connection timed out and all was lost! May I suggest you first write a draft on typepad or textedit and cut and paste it in the editor and then save to publish? Wayne suggested that if this happens "try hitting the back button in your browser, this should bring back a cached version of your edits -- you can then open WE in a new window and copy your text over' but I was too late for that! Wayne also suggested I shared this misshap on the discussion page but once I got there could not see an edit button! So apologies for being "off topic"

No apologies necessary. If you can't see an edit tab, that means that your current web-session timed out. If you are working on long sections of text, working offline is an alternative. You can also use Open Office or MS Word for offline editing. When you're finished you can use WikiEducator special feature which will convert your document into wiki text. When you are logged in, on the left hand side of the screen there is a link under the toolbox called OOoConvertor -- login, click on this link and follow the instructions on screen. WikiEducator will upload your document as a sub-page from your user page, and you can then copy and past this to where you need it in the wiki. --Wayne Mackintosh 23:59, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Hey - just tried it - the OOoconverter.  definately found it useful as I take quite a bit of time thinking around ideas when typing so I too struck the problem of timing out.  It may be useful, for any other newbies like myself to mention that the subpage link is also under toolbox.  Faye Booker

Insert/Edit Image

Hi, I can't really work out how to upload a picture from My folder. When I click on Open rich editor in new window and click on Insert/Edit Image. I don't know how to excess my documents and insert a picture from my documents. It would be great if someone could give me some advice.

Thank you


Hi Sabrina, good question. It can be confusing because you need to upload the image from your personal machine onto the server located in the use before you can access the image on the wiki page. I see that you're working ahead of the group - -fantastic! Here are a few step-by-step instructions on how to upload images. After entering the image name, in the rich text editor's dialogue box for images you must first save the page. You will see a red link in the published view. Click on the red link follow the instructions on screen to upload the image. -- let is know how you go. --Wayne Mackintosh 03:10, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Hello ! Still on the topic of editing pictures: if you ever go to my user page you'll see an over sized screencast of the wikispaces wiki I refer to: I am unable to resize it! I ve looked at other pictures and their sizes but nothing works for that one ( I somehow managed to resize the picture of me at the top of the page by right clicking on it in edit mode and accessing its properties and then changing the size). I am obviously missing a step. Can you please help? (should have gone back to the sandbox....) Thank you ☺!  --PascaleHP 07:40, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi Pascale, I've edited the size of your image on your user page. I'd recommend using a "Thumb" rather than "Frame" because the "Frame" alternative, for some reason is more fussy then using the Thumb alternative. I don't have a logical explanation -- but its like life, some things we just need to accept :-). --Wayne Mackintosh 08:08, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Merci Wayne, it looks much better and I'll steer clear of Frame from now on! --PascaleHP 02:40, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Pascale Hyboud-Peron -- Setting the Time & Date

Despite setting my preferences to Pacific Time-Auckland, i don't seem to be able to get the right time, still on server time. Can anyone indicate correct procedure? Merci! --PascaleHP 22:05, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Hi Pascale, go to the recent changes page or your "My contributions" link when you're logged in. If you have configured your time zone preferences, the times of the edits should be your time zone. (Note that in Mediawiki -- the default format for a signature is the server time.) -- Wayne Mackintosh 22:13, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
I am also having the same problem, have tried what Pascale said above, and also used the browser option - both end up showing the correct local time and I have checked my contributions and they show the correct time but my signature still shows server time.  eg it is now 16:14 --Faye Booker 03:14, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
The timestamp embedded in a signature within a page is always displayed in UTC. (The time zone preference only affects Special: pages that are built just for you when you are logged in, like the "My contributions" or "Recent Changes" links.) JimTittsler 03:39, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Faye Booker - Adding signatures - help please

How do I add a signatue and time and date stamp when I make comments?

Hi Faye, if you're using the WYSIWYG editor (Rich Editor), you can use the "Insert signature"  button on the toolbar. It's in the top row, 2nd last button on the right. Move your mouse pointer over the graphic button which will display the alternate text describing the fundtion of each button on the toolbar. --Wayne Mackintosh 21:10, 24 March 2010 (UTC)