Complimentary Wikis Get a Nod?

5/08/2005 02:14:00 pm

I think this is the teacher I referred to earlier. His name is Rob Lucas (Lucas was a famous mathematician y'know. He invented the Tower of Hanoi puzzle. ;-) This is a different fellow, Edward Lucas died in 1891.) I thought that the BPRIME wiki was ambitious. Rob thinks very BIG. He has created a wiki called The Teachers Lounge:

Over the course of last year, my first year of teaching, I spent many late nights planning lessons for the following day. During those nights, a single thought gnawed at me: Thousands of other teachers across the country were doing just as I was, and thousands more had done so every year for decades. Yet there was no way for me to fully benefit from the experience of all those who had come before.

I've created this website to change that. It's a new type of collaborative website called a 'wiki,' where most pages can be edited not just by a webmaster, but by any registered user. That means you can post lesson plans, links, handouts, PowerPoint presentations, virtually anything! And you don't even have to know HTML. Editing a page is as easy as using a word processor.

My vision is that over time, we can develop an extensive library of creative, finely-tuned, engaging, exciting lessons. If you share that vision, please register and help me shape the site, whether you're a new teacher yourself or a veteran. You can also click here to learn how to use the site or read the first post on my weblog to learn more about the idea behind it.

Very exciting stuff! Rob's vision is not only for teachers at all levels, but also in all disciplines to collaborate. The BPRIME wiki has a slightly different focus than Rob's; one which I regard as complimentary. The Teacher's Lounge focuses on what we teach, BPRIME focuses on how we teach.

There have been some exciting developments since the BPRIME Wiki went public last Sunday. I got positive feedback from three people immediately. Terry and James joined the wiki and Jonathan linked to my post and discussed another idea about how teachers can create their own textbooks. Terry shared two excellent contributions, here and here. And James has said that he's planning to share as well.

In order to "spread the word" I submitted my post to the 13th Carnival of Education. Since Sunday this site has been visited by 141 different people, 97 of whom were first time visitors. I find those kind of stats very encouraging. I'm always amazed at how many people are interested in the goings on here.

Participation Stats

  • 3/141 or 2.1% have responded favourably.
  • 2/141 or 1.4% have joined.
  • 1/141 or 0.7% have participated.

When I first put the wiki together I tried to strike a balance between my contributions to encourage participation and leaving it "unfinished" enough to encourage a larger community to take ownership of the space. I'd also like to find a way to increase the participation rate. I'd really love to get some feedback on how I can do this. Maybe this idea of mine isn't so great. Maybe I'm recreating work that's already been done elsewhere and so, the idea behind BPRIME is a little "tired." Or is this really a good idea and I'm just a little impatient. (It wouldn't be the first time. ;-))

I can hear this song playing in my head, Pink Floyd, "Is there anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear me....." ;-)

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