Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Hello--Welcome to our Blogs and Wikis at UIUC Work Group

Dear Interested Campus Blogger and Wikiite!

You are one of a large number of campus faculty and technology supporters (42 total) that attended one of the CITES EdTech Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasting brownbags and indicated interest in joining a working group on the topic. This email list will support our discussion concerning use of blogs and wikis. We have also set up a blog and wiki for posting tips and examples and general experimentation.

You will need to respond to a 2nd email (sent shortly) which will invite you to become a contributing member of our new blog:

Teaching With Blogs and Wikis at UIUC
http://guava.cites.uiuc.edu/r-baird/blogsnwikis/

We also have a wiki at:

http://www.seedwiki.com/wiki/teaching_with_wikis_at_uiuc

Anyone can post at our wiki, and I've already added our first assignment (which is hopefully fun and enlightening): Add to our exploration of "Some Things We Humans Collaboratively Create." The idea here is to see if we can counteract some of the strangeness we feel when we hear that wikis are collaboratively edited by reminding ourselves of other things humans create in a highly collaborative manner. All you need to do is go to the wiki, click edit page, and contribute to our collective response.

About this "working group," CITES EdTech wants to bring together campus faculty, technical staff, and pedagogy and media specialists through a few informal working groups that will share ideas and questions in an online forum (blog, wiki, listserv,), meet occassionally for sharing and show n tell sessions, and serve as a support network for those instructors actively engaged in using these technologies in their courses and research.

A subsequent email will explain how you can join our blog (a standard Blogger blog that should be easy to join).

Once you join the blog, please post a single entry that responds briefly to these questions:

1. What, if any, experience do you have with blogs and wikis as a consumer?

2. What, if any, experience do you have with blogs and wikis as a teacher or technical support staff?

3. Imagine you are going to pilot the use of a blog or wiki in a spring 2006 semseter course on this campus (either your own or for another teacher) what might you try? Offer some discipline and/or course specific tasks or objectives that you might hope to facilitate?

You can copy and paste the 3 questions above into your first blog post when you respond to the questions. We assume that some of you already use Blogger, but also want to introduce this easy and free tool to those that haven't used it before. Additionally, we believe that teachers and students can easily use Blogger for course work, collaboration, and for course assignments. So, we are kind of testing the feasibility of Blogger as an informal campus teaching and learning tool.

best

Robert Baird
Doug Mills
CITES EdTech

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