Featured Wiki: TechMaker

Kim Grady started the TechMaker wiki in July, 2009.

techmaker1. Briefly describe your group, your wiki, and what you use it to do:
We are a group of scientific, industry, and education professionals who are seeking to overcome barriers to bringing new technology to market. Our project is one of many under the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) initiative of the Department of Labor. We used tech transfer concepts to develop the wiki’s organization and framework, and wiki templates to pre-populate pages with standard reoccurring content that guides pedagogy specific to our audiences. We initially gathered about 200 existing resources in the wiki, cataloged them, and then began shaping them for classroom/training room delivery. Educators are participating in pilot programs to use the wiki delivered content in their existing business and technology courses. Specific entrepreneur groups are starting to add their blog content to the wiki for development of new curriculum and ideas. The wiki format allows us to bring together dynamic curriculum and processes for teaching tech transfer concepts.

2. Besides the Edit button, which wiki feature is your favorite?
The tag cloud because it affords a great way to manage and navigate the content, the tags were developed from the mapped tech transfer concepts, the concepts are kind of the backbone of the wiki delivered content and its organization.

3. What is one way you’re using wikis and other web 2.0 tools in your projects?
A process and technique was developed that utilizes interactive concept mapping and wikis. The maps helped build a user defined logic/context for the curriculum and the wiki platform supports formatting and linking the associated content for dissemination.

4. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why I use wikis!”
Since day one I have been a wiki fan; I never blogged, wikis give me the flexibility I need to work with my clients. I’ll use the words of one of the participants in the project as an aha moment, when I knew the project participants were seeing what I see in wikis. She said, “We are really creating something dynamic but directive here, that’s a good thing.”

5. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you?
Ah, this kind of goes with #4, I think my wiki would say, “They will see the power of what you are creating, don’t sweat it.”

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5 Comments

  1. Maria
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Hello,

    I´m new to wiki, so I´d love to know how I could make a wiki space to work with my pupils. I´m Argentine and here we do not work with wikis in general.

    I´d like you to inform me of good tutorials in order to get to know how to make a wiki space.

    Thanks a lot in advance,

    María Rosa Moretti

  2. Posted September 30, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    I have just started my wiki and have so much to learn! And this idea of “wiki templates to pre-populate pages with standard reoccurring content that guides pedagogy specific to our audiences” greatly interests me.

    I’d love a response. I’d love to learn more. Thx, k

  3. Posted September 30, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Today in my 9th grade Spanish class, I showed them my wiki which read, among other things, “Language does not exist in a vacuum.” We had a rather philosophical discussion, (as philosophical as 14 year olds can be) and then I edited online with them there, “Language does or does not exist in a vacuum according to my 9th grade Spanish class.” They were ecstatic.

    I changed it back to my way as soon as they left!

    I have so much to learn and I’m lovin’ it! Kim Handy for HandyPages

  4. kim
    Posted October 10, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Hey, Kim, (like the name, love the handle too, HandyPages).

    The template concept is cool. I used it to compile a bunch of generic information that reoccurs in most of our content domain, tech transfer. My templates contain stuff like tools you can assign students to complete during research and how to use them. An example is the S.W.O.T. I populated it with questions and directions for completing the SWOT that are related to our content domain. I did the same thing with Case Study templates and others. Instructors appreciate having that stuff at their fingertips, lets them work on the details and customization of their instruction, saves them time. That’s the purpose of our wiki tool, to help instructors and entrepreneurs get content into the classroom and boardroom so more technology gets into the market.

    Good luck with your language class, sounds like you are on the right track, showing them the power and possibilities of a wiki.

  5. Posted October 28, 2010 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    That is so funny Kim, it is brilliant that you can use wikispaces to interact with your class like that. You will have them all designing their own wikispaces soon.

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