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Toolbox Links

I have added some Javascript to WikiEducator that replaces the Permanent Link entry of the navigation Toolbox with a Links button. When you click on the Links button, it will disclose not only the old Permanent Link, but also a Short URL link for the current page, and HTML snippets of the IFrame code useful to embed the WikiEducator revision or page within another application.

More complete details are in Help:Links.

--JimTittsler 00:37, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Email Notifications for LiquidThreads Postings (Update)

The tool that can email you LiquidThreads postings has been updated. It will now email you when either:

  • a posting is added or changed on the talk page of any page in your watchlist
  • a reply is added to a thread you have posted in

--JimTittsler 04:06, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Blogging Using WikiEducator

WikiEducator has the WikiArticleFeeds extension installed which can convert a (specially formatted) wiki page into RSS and Atom feeds. This makes it possible to build a simple blog by using some conventions (such as unique titles, posting in a specific order, etc.). Each section of the page as determined by the topic headings of a given level become a new blog post that will appear in the RSS feed. The date is pulled from the signature line using the standard ~~~~ format.

--JimTittsler 22:42, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

WikiEducator Books now in Color! And Hardcover.

PediaPress, the innovative publisher that worked with the Wikimedia Foundation and the Commonwealth of Learning (WikiEducator's old home) to develop the PDF export feature we use at WikiEducator, has announced the availability of color and hardcover book options. This gives you more choices when you collaboratively build your collection/book in WikiEducator and then opt for a printed snapshot.

--JimTittsler 22:42, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Email Notifications for LiquidThreads Postings

I've written a tool that can email you when a posting is made on the Talk page of any page in your Watchlist. All that is required is:

  • your WikiEducator email address must be authenticated
  • opt-in by ticking the box on the Gadgets page of your Preferences

--JimTittsler 23:59, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

CC-BY Licensing Badge

There is now a tiny bit of Javascript that looks for pages in the CC-BY category (or the CC-BY Pages, CC-BY-2.?, and CC-BY-3.? categories and changes the icon, text, and links in the footer of WikiEducator pages. (This currently applies only to the English WikiEducator.) So all you need to do is to add the CC-BY category to any pages where it is appropriate.

(This does not solve the problem for the PDF generation.)

--JimTittsler 00:12, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

ULearn and EDtalks

I always enjoy attending ULearn to catch some of the enthusiasm and learn of some of the innovation of New Zealand (and other Asia-Pacific) teachers. Wayne Mackintosh did a Wiki-taster session that gave a couple of dozen teachers a hands-on taste for how easy it is to get started with WikiEducator. He also led an informal discussion of about building an Open Education Resource commons for New Zealand.

I ran a workshop on using Sugar-on-a-Stick in a New Zealand classroom. It was fun to see a few teachers get excited about using this learner-centric software that was originally developed for the One Laptop Per Child on standard computers they already had available. The ability for a student to carry their entire computer environment including a journal of work on a standard memory stick is a rather compelling story.

This year I also had a chance to talk to Matt Tippen about some of the aspects of using WikiEducator as a place to develop and share open education resources and the networking benefits that can come from teachers working together to improve them. EDtalks video

--JimTittsler 08:12, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Quizzes in WikiEducator

I've been experimenting with adding additional options for interactivity in WikiEducator pages. The latest experiments are a couple of templates that add Multiple Choice and Fill-in-the-Blanks quizes that are built out of standard wikitext. The advantages of using wikitext include:

  • ease of editing
  • renders cleanly for printing a teacher's guide

Complete details are embedded in the template pages. I have simple examples of their use.

--Jim Tittsler 16:34, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

WikiEducator Repository for Moodle 2.0

Moodle 2.0 has add the concept of repositories which allow pulling files from both local and remote sources as you are building your courses. Moodle 2.0 is supplied with a repository that works with the Wikimedia Commons. I've made the few small changes necessary to make a version that pulls from WikiEducator. It is of course all open source and freely available.

--Jim Tittsler 21:45, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Imagemap Experiments

I've written a small imagemap widget that allows overlaying an imagemap over an image in the wiki. It does require understanding the standard HTML imagemap notation. Here's a simple example.

--Jim Tittsler 22:56, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

OpenID Logins

I've enabled OpenID logins on the English instance of WikiEducator. After clicking the log in / create account link, you will see you now have the option to login using an OpenID provider (or visit Special:OpenIDLogin directly). This allows you to use one of the large public OpenID providers (like AOL, Google, Yahoo, or many others) or a local OpenID provider set up by your institution. One fewer password to remember!

--Jim Tittsler 01:23, 06 August 2010 (UTC)

Vector(-like) Skin

The new Vector skin that has benefited from a lot of usability improvements at the Mediawiki Foundation is a modern, clean, and uncluttered theme for Mediawiki pages. I've made a few changes so that it will work on the version of MediaWiki that we are using at WikiEducator and invite you to try it. It appears in the Skins tab of your Special:Preferences.

--Jim Tittsler 21:16, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Custom Javascript

WikiEducator is configured to allow each user to provide their own custom Javascript for each of the skins available. This provides a great deal of flexibility in how WikiEducator appears in your browser, and allows you to add a variety of convenience features for your use. So if you use the 'vector' skin, your custom Javascript would be located on your User:YourUserName/vector.js page. (NB The name of the skin is always completely lower case, so if you are using the old Monobook skin, your custom Javascript page is named monobook.js)

Custom Google Search

For example, the default MediaWiki search feature can sometimes be frustrating. I wrote a little bit of Javascript that adds a custom Google search box to the WikiEducator search portlet when I'm logged in. If you add:

 addOnloadHook(function() {importScript('User:JimTittsler/googlesearch.js');});

to your WikiEducator Javascript there will be a Google search box available as an option beneath the standard search. Since WikiEducator provides Google with nightly sitemap updates, the search can usually do a good job of finding even quite fresh content.

My Projects

It can be handy to add an extra item or two to the list of personal links that appears on every page... the ones that take you to your user page, your talk page, preferences, etc. I added a link to a My Projects page by adding this to my custom Javascript (for each of the skins I use):

addOnloadHook(function () {
 var mytalk = document.getElementById("pt-mytalk");
 if (mytalk) {
   var projecttab = document.createElement('li');
   projecttab.setAttribute('id', 'jtproject');
   projecttab.innerHTML = '<a href="/User:'+wgUserName+'/Projects">My Projects</a>';
   mytalk.parentNode.insertBefore(projecttab, mytalk);

--Jim Tittsler 23:30, 3 March 2010 (UTC)