A short Wiki how to

If you're here, it's probably because you've been invited to join this or another wikispace and are not quite sure how to go about participating in this fairly new style of online community.

What is a wiki?

Basically, a wiki is a way for a group of people to create content on the world wide web as a group. Wik's tend to be pretty user friendly and easy to edit. This particular space is provided by the friendly guys at wikispaces and since it's an educational space, it's even provided for free! (Thanks Adam!)

Currently, the best known wiki is probably Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. The good thing about wiki's is that you can call on the expertise of a large group of people instead of just one website author or authoring group. In addition, since the content is posted on the world wide web and can be accessed from anywhere you have internet access, the content is both more portable than most traditional paper resources and can be kept more current than items that have to go through the traditional publishing process. The (possible) bad thing is that anyone can post whatever they want on a wiki like Wikipedia. The editors and other members watch the content pretty closely, but there are still people who post incorrect information either on purpose, or simply because they believe the information is correct. Wikipedia tries to keep out opinion or editorializing and has some policies in place for content that you can see here or here.

For more information about wiki's see this definition by Wikipedia.

So what about THIS wiki?

This wiki is designed to allow students and teachers at charter schools to talk about books they have read and to create an online collection of review information about those books. It was started by Lizanell Boman, a library media specialist who lives in Springville Utah. I welcome any readers in the U.S. school community, or for that matter, in the world if they want to talk about books written in English. (sorry, it's the only language I speak OR read. I should educate myself I guess...) To request membership in this wiki, you can click on the join this space link in the actions menu at the upper left corner of this page.

February 2008: I no longer work in a charter school and have no plans to go back to the charter environment. Long story. Anyway, I'm not currently teaching in a school at all, but I put a lot of work into this wiki and still think it could be valuable to teachers and students, so I changed the name (as you might have noticed on the home page) and intend to go forward.

How do I participate?

Once you have joined the space, you will be granted membership permissions that allow you to add or edit pages. To protect our students and the integrity of the conversation, you cannot post discussion topics, edit pages or create new pages if you are not a member of the space. Currently, Mrs. Boman is the only person who can approve new members, but as the space grows, teachers and library media specialists from other charters may be granted the ability to approve members, provided they do not abuse the privilege. Students will not, under any circumstances be given the ability to add new members.

What this space is not

This is not a social networking site like myspace, facebook, or live journal. While you are welcome to create a personal page about you and your school, your reading likes and dislikes and other book related things, this space is not designed as a personal website or blog. If it's not about a book you're reading or have read, this isn't the place for it. Material of an excessively personal nature will be removed as will links to your personal weblogs, blogs or other personal pages. Please also refrain from profanity and language inappropriate for a public school environment (if you wouldn't say it in your classroom, don't say it here!) Should you choose to edit another user's page, do not alter their rating of the book! You may alter their synopsis ONLY if the synopsis contains incorrect information(they mixed up character names, missed a key plot point etc.,). Note: Another user's opinion is not correct or incorrect! It is their OPINION and should be left alone.

Enough about what you can't do! Here's what you can do!

  • Create a page about what you are currently reading
  • Create a page about a book you have already read
  • Recommend books to other users
  • Disagree (respectfully of course!) about a book rating by adding a comment WITH YOUR USER NAME(comments without your user name will be deleted)
  • Add a comment about a book for which another user has created a page.
  • Add your book reviews to the alphabetical index of books by author. (in fact, please do!)

How to review a book

First, check the book index to make sure the book hasn't already been reviewed. If it has, feel free to add your assessment to the page already created, but please do not create a new page for the book. If you are adding a comment about a book that someone else is also reading or has read, please indicate that by putting your username at the front of your comments bolded and italicized like this [Core_Knowledge_Librarians] followed by your comments and your rating (1-10 stars with 10 being I couldn't put it down!! and 1 being skip this one.)

If the book hasn't got a page yet, create one by clicking on new page (in the actions menu at the top left). To make things easier for all of us, please use the full name of the book as the page title.

On your new page, please put the title and the author of the book at the top. Next, provide a brief synopsis of the book. Finally, add your recommendation about the book (ie., I liked it, I didn't like it, I liked it but....) and a rating between 1-10 stars with 10 being I couldn't put it down!! and 1 being skip this one.

Finally, add a link to your new page in the master book index here.

For help on how to do any of these things, please click here