2011 Workshops by Lee Carleton...

Wikis for Writing and Drafting: Collaboration on Steroids

Wiki-wiki is the Hawaiian phrase for “very quick” but speed of editing is not the only advantage to using a wiki for writing, drafting and collaboration. In this workshop we will review some of the more popular wiki sites, the basics of how to use each one, and what features can significantly empower your composition whether you are working alone or collaborating with a group.

Wikis / Websites & Collaboration Spaces


Use the Wikipedia Sandbox to learn how to edit, contribute and create articles.

For more advanced practice, from the Main Page you can find an article about a topic, person, place or event that you know well such as your high school or your hometown and log in to Wikipedia to make an edit in the article by adding additional information, a relevant link or a needed correction. Note that any Wikipedia article can be edited by anyone at any time even without an account or username. In such cases, Wikipedia records your IP Address and this becomes your ID. By creating an account with a pseudonym (real names are prohibited) the user can then keep the IP address private.


  • Get started with a username, password and email address. Watch closely & work along with me as I set up a basic site in Wikispaces

  • Invent a name for your site, publish it and send the address link to me at leecarleton@gmail.com
  • Browse for information about the recent disasters in Japan that is more specific than what you have heard on the news or that adds information left out of recent reporting.
  • Collect text, links, images and one video that provide this information
  • Compose this information along with your own commentary in your wiki on at least two pages
  • You can review the basics anytime with Wikispaces Tutorial Videos

Other useful wiki sites

PB Works


Non-wiki collaboration tools



Writing Like a Spider: An Introduction to Web 2.0

[[file/view/Writing Spider handout.pdf|Writing Spider handout.pdf]]

(click above to download handout)

What is Web 2.0 and how can you be the spider and not the fly? This workshop will briefly review the history of the Web as a foundation for exploring the exciting new tools available that build on skills you already have. From blogs to social networking sites to mobile devices and cloud computing, we will survey basic navigation and practical academic applications of Web 2.0

What does it mean to be the spider and not the fly?

It means to become the creative weaver of your own web and the connector of your own threads rather than simply buzzing around aimlessly in cyberspace getting stuck in other webs.

Being the spider means using new online tools to collaborate, research, share work, create new presentations, store and access needed information and generally enhance your academic and work performance.

20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web - a clear & creative handbook worth bookmarking and/or printing out.

How It All Began:

The Web as an idea go back to 1945 with Vannevar Bush's concept of the "memex" but the actual development of it began with a military project called ARPANET in 1969 which developed the system of nodes called the Internet. Email arrived in 1971 and the first web browser was developed in 1990 marking the transition from the Internet to the World Wide Web. In 1995, there were only 25,000 websites on the Web, in 2002: 9,040,000 and now they number over 100 million. These figures are for sites that contain multiple pages, meaning that the total number of web pages is in the billions. A recent Pew study also reveals huge increases in high-speed access to the Web encouraging further growth as Web surfers use new digital tools to produce and post their own impressively varied content. The 2008 Web Server Survey attributes a recent 3.1 million website increase largely to the impact of Blogger, one of the new digital tools of Web 2.0. And on YouTube, another new tool, in addition to plenty of stupid pet videos, we can find political speeches, news stories, classic movie clips, concert clips, animation, interviews and contemporary re-mixes of classic films like Wax Tailor's "Que Sera" mashup of Fritz Lang's 1927 silent film Metropolis.

Note how each of these videos features a very different vision of Web 2.0

What motive for using Web 2.0 does each video seem to suggest? Does each make the same appeal?

What mood is evoked in each video, and which one motivates you to get on the Web to learn more?

The Machine is Us/ing Us

Web 2.0

Did You Know?

Some Possible Uses for:


  • personal reflection and expression

  • business & professional communication

  • family & friends, hobbies & entertainment

  • academic projects, one time or ongoing

  • community news & organizing

WIKIS & Websites -

  • personal interest

  • family photos

  • organizational collaboration

  • academic collaboration

  • research collection & organization

  • drafting writing

  • e-portfolio

Networking Sites -

  • social contact & connection

  • group/organizational pages

  • school clubs

  • family connections

  • professional networking & online credentials


Blogging Sites





Social Networking





UR Students YouTube Channel



Professional Networking






Wikis / Websites & Collaboration Spaces


PB Works


Other Web 2.0 tools -

ARTstor- university account

video to .mp3 - free online

Gimp - image editing freeware

Audacity - audio editing freeware

Wordle - below is a wordle of Barlow's 1996 "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace"

A Wordle can be useful for analyzing your own writing or other texts to quickly highlight word choice and frequency.



(what terms would you like to add? please post your suggestions in the "discussion" tab above)

browser: the software program we use to navigate the web such as Firefox, Safari or Chrome, programs that locate, retrieve and present info we request

blog: short for web log, online self-publishing of text, image & video

cloud computing: essentially a new name for the Web and the way we use it now, accessing files and running programs on other computers instead of using up the space and processing power of our own computer. "Cloud computing is a technology that uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with internet access. This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralizing storage, memory, processing and bandwidth. A simple example of cloud computing is Yahoo email or Gmail etc. You dont need a software or a server to use them."

e-portofolio: short for "electronic portfolio" referring to a collection of your work (in all media) that is stored and viewable on the web.

file format: refers to the kind of digital file and is usually designated as a "suffix" or letters after a dot like .doc (document) or .pdf (portable document format) or the format used for many images .jpg (Joint Photography Experts Group). An extensive list of file formats in alphabetical order can be found on Wikipedia.

http: stands for "hypertext transfer protocol" in the address window, and defines the protocol for request & reply between our computer and its servers.

*note a web "address" is also referred to as its URL or Uniform Resource Locator.

HTML: Hypertext Markup Language, the code behind this screen that instructs the computer to present the page you are reading now.

Try this test - click "view" on the top bar browser menu, then click "view source" or "page source" to see the code behind this page.

hypertext: in its simplest form it is electronic text containing links to other electronic texts - in a basic sense all websites are hypertexts.

Useful categories to distinguish a commercial website from a scholarly project might be "academic hypertext" or "literary hypertext".

ISP: Internet Service Provider (aka IAP Internet Access Provider) is the company used to access the Web such as Comcast or Verizon.

markup: anything done to a text to make it more accessible and useful for the reader such as punctuation, spacing, capitalization, indentation, layout, font style and even personal annotations & highlighting.

podcast: subscription audio or video a.k.a. RSS feed - differs from downloadable audio file because it is sent to you automatically when you subscribe.

server: computers intended for hosting software applications under the heavy demand of a network environment.

wiki: group edited website, named for Hawaiian word for "quick", approved members can add or delete text, images & video.

Web 2.0: following the protocol of numbering different versions of software, this unofficial title refers to new online tools such as blogging, video and audio streaming, and social networking sites that have made adding content to the web much easier for non-technical users thus massively increasing the number of contributors and expanding access to a worldwide pool of knowledge and interaction.