Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Set Up a Class Wiki

To set up your class Wiki you need to choose what platform you will use.  There are several free ones.

WikiMatrix is a great online matrix that lets you compare all the wikis available depending on what your needs are. Or you can click here for a comparison of the different wiki providers.

I used wikispaces.com because when I started it was the one I knew more about. To start I signed up at this link Teachers.  Students and teachers can sign-up for free and get a free upgrade where you can do more customization.  The sign-up is quick and easy. You need to enter a username, password, email address, choose a Wiki Name and the Industry you work in.  You will then be asked to certify that the wiki will be used for K-12 or or higher education. You can either choose a Basic Wiki or an Editable Website.  I chose the Basic one because it seemed easier.

Once you have done this it will create your wiki.  The nice thing about wikispaces is that it will then take you through an interactive tour to get you started.  You can edit your first page, customize your logo, change the look and feel of the wiki and more, all while the tour is guiding you step-by-step.  You can exit out of the guide tour at anytime by clicking on the exit button.

One of the first things I did on my wiki was to change the navigation.  To do this just click on edit navigation link on the menu.  You will be taken to an editable page where you can enter all the links you would like to have in your menu.  You will see a widget that says navigation, I got rid of it, because I wanted mine to look more like a regular website menu.  Once you enter your list, you need to select each entry and link it.  This creates a page for that entry.  For example if I have a menu item called Resources, I select it, then click on the  link button.  This will open a window where you should choose Page or File.  Click on the Add Link button and there you are you have your first page.  Continue like this with the rest of the pages you want to create.  Once you save the Navigation page, you can click on the links you created.  If you click on the Resources link you created it will let you know that there is no content yet in that page just click on the Edit button and it will take you to the page and you can get started working on your page.

To further set-up your wiki you can click on the Help button. It will guide you through adding a file, inviting others to your wiki, setting permissions and more. You can also find more help for setting up your wiki at the Wikispaces blog.

Other Resources:
List of Best Wiki Engines
Wiki Markup tips



If you want to get more guidance on setting up a wiki in wikispaces here is a very thorough video.

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