Desktop or local wiki solutions

I’m thinking about offline or local wiki solutions that can run in a lab or on a classroom computer. Next week, we’ll be discussing web-based solutions that can work in the classroom and I’m hoping to put together a list of solutions that will work even in a classroom with only one computer.

So far, I have the following solutions:

  • Swiki (–the first wiki I ever deployed. It has served us well for many years and can run on just about any old computer (Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, Windows 2000-Vista).
  • Tiddlywiki (–a new favorite. This gem can be run from your local hard drive or uploaded to a server and served up over HTTP.
  • MoinMoin desktop edition–This is a Python based wiki that is quite functional. I have not had a chance to use it much though.

What are you using for a standalone wiki engine?


Happy Birthday Tiddlywiki

I ran across a great interview with Jeremy Ruston, the developer Tiddlywiki, last night. His story and work is very good. If you haven’t used a wiki before, Tiddlywiki is a great way to get started. The power with it lies in the fact that it runs as a file on your computer — doesn’t need a server — and makes for a great information capture device (just wish it would work with an iPhone — there’s hope as I think Jeremy has one and is working on this).

Tiddlywiki is unique in that the magic doesn’t happen via PHP, MySQL, and Apache. Rather, it all happens locally on the browser powered by Javascript. There are numerous different flavors of Tiddlywiki out there as well catering to GTD’ers. I appreciate being able to use it as a notetaking device that I can push up to our web-accessible document storage system. I’m toying with the idea of using it instead of something like Wikispaces or other solutions like Highrise for tracking contacts and projects.

I’ve seen at that the developers of the next generation wiki for Moodle have included the ability to synchronize a Moodle wiki with Tiddlywiki — this has serious potential for our online courses. I’d love for my students & faculty to be able to have an offline wiki tool available to them.

Are you using Tiddlywiki? Let me know how via a comment below.

Technology for Methods Course

I met with some wonderful MAT students last night to discuss and explore different technologies for enhancing their teaching.

Here is my presentation from our session on using wikis for teaching.

As promised, here are some of the resources that we talked about in class (including a few others that I didn’t mention):



Wikis in Online Education Programs

My colleague Scot and I are presenting at SITE tomorrow on Best Practices for the Use of Wikis in Teacher Education Programs. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to share the results of my research on the use of wikis.

We will be discussing our experiences, and a framework for categorizing my review of the literature comprised of WikiNature, WikiMethods, and WikiCurriculum.

View the presentation (QuickTime).

Sharing with the seminary faculty on wikis

I met with my colleagues at the seminary today to discuss how they might use wikis in their new MAML program that is ramping up. I’m currently mashing up an instance of the Swiki wiki system, which we’ve been running for 6 years, into Moodle. As I shared with them today, I accidentally chose to display the wiki in a frame within Moodle. The result: a wiki that works and is easy to use (as opposed to the horrid wiki built-in to Moodle).

I shared a pre-release version of my paper that I’ll be presenting at Site this year on what I’ve learned both in using wikis for the past 6 years as well as a review of the literature on the use of wikis for a course.

My colleagues in the seminary raised some important questions about assessment today during our time together — issues that were important and I hope to learn from them their solutions for assessing student’s work in wikis.

I’d like to hear about how others are assessing work in wikis. Please share a comment if you’d like regarding assessment or how you are using wikis in general.

Sharing at OTEN 2006 today

I’m sharing at the Oregon Technology in Education 2006 Conference today on how wikis can be used in K-12 environments as a collaborative web-based learning tool. We’ll be taking a look at how the portable and easy to use Swiki based wiki system can be downloaded and setup with minimal technical expertise and experience. The Swiki system makes it easy for teachers at any level of technical knowledge to build a website with their students centered around a lesson, project, field trip, or other activity. I’m including a brief video for later reference as part of the presentation. Take a look if you’re interested in getting started with Swikis.