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[seul-edu] Re: wiki proposal
On Wed, Jan 17, 2001 at 08:20:52AM -0500, Doug Loss wrote:
> L Prevett has put up a webpage
First I want to acknowledge L Prevett's incredible work. His webpage on
math resources is first class!
> "Once a finished document [Math Teacher's Guide] is in place, it
> might be interesting to
> put the whole thing into a wiki and use it as a core for a more
> spontaneous collaboration. That's just a thought - it will be up to
> you to decide what to do with the document once it's really
> That's an interesting idea, and one that we haven't gone into in any
> depth before. What do you think of the idea of a (or more than one)
> SEUL/edu wiki? Oh, and could someone post a good explanation of
> what a wiki is and how it works for those unfamiliar with the
> concept? Thanks.
I totally agree that a wiki is the "next step" at this point. Traditional
web pages take dedicated work sort of like writing an essay; once one is
done, after it has been "handed in", one tends not to go back and revise it
because little changes take comparitively too much effort.
The invention of the wiki (which is Hawaian for "fast") solves this problem:
web pages can be updated quickly "on the fly" by not just the original
author but by anyone who reads the page (there is an edit button on the
bottom of all wiki pages)
At the very least, wiki pages are simply webpages that can be edited right
from the viewer's browser (using an HTML form with a textarea)
Since speed (i mean efficiency) is of the essense, wiki pages allow
shortcuts such as [link] (a word surrounded by square brackets) which
automatically creates a hypertext link to a page called "link" and even
creates that page if it does not exist. This alone is a HUGE timesaver, but
there are lots more such shortcuts (which in the zope world, we call
zope is only one of many environments where wikis are growing. The zope
variant can be viewed in action at http://www.zwiki.org
I also have taken the wiki concept and added some Eduml to it; meaning new
shortcuts that allow for inline python, inline latex, inline SQL and so on;
a wiki for education. http://ess.vancouver.bc.ca/zope/bruno/eduml
I am now using it to create math lesson examples and tests with random
One of my activities these days is to take the contents of a mailing list
(about consortia in online education) and convert it quickly and efficiently
into a wiki open-ended hopefully useful summary not just for those entering
the conversation late, but those who want a reminder of what territory has
been covered already, what questions need more work etc...
I've applied the wiki concept in other ways as well. see
http://ess.vancouver.bc.ca/zope/bruno/org for an idea of the possibilities.
so yes, I would like seul/edu to setup a wiki; ideally I would prefer that
it be my (Eduml) variant of it because especially in this case, it allows
quick rendering of math formulas and symbols. This currently requires
setting up zope first, although in the future, i hope it will be ported to
many other CGI platforms.