ITP Resources

Wanted to have a page of resources that I use to teach and prepare for my classes.  Easy to reference, easy to get to, and hopefully useful to someone out there. I use this to host my course sites for courses I teach in American Drama, Meadia/Performance, and New Media.  Wikdot is secure, easy to set up and use, and very flexible.  I have found that students adapt to it relatively quickly and by the end of a semester are pretty facile with wiki web production.  Video and image embedding is easy and there is even built in support for citation and bibliographical referencing. I have all my students hand in papers as wiki entries now and once they get used to it they very often prefer it to using Word and handing in a paper document.  It changes how you grade but is worth it for the online experience they gain.  The great thing about Wikidot is that they also host your wikis so you do not have to worry about purchasing or hosting your own server space and managing the installation of the wiki software as you have to with Mediawiki(see below). If you are interested in this service and want to look at a class I am willing to invite you into one of my private course sites.  If you are reading this you are reading a WordPress blog.  WordPress is superior blogging software and as the community has grown the tools have become outstanding for running a blog.  It acts as a CMS (content management system) in a larger sense, but personally find it works best as a blogging tool.  I use it as a place for students to contribute responses to readings.  They are then required to comment on one another’s responses.  This makes the response-paper model more useful as students can respond to one another in a way they couldn’t before.  It also allows for them to start thinking about materials before class and gives me an insight into what direction to take the class in.  WordPress can be implemented in two ways: the first is as a web hosted blog service.  In this case WordPress hosts your blog and you are therefore somewhat limited in your potential for customization.  The second is by downloading the software and hosting it on your own server or on server space you pay for.  This allows you greater customization but of course requires you to do more installation, administration, and management then the hosted service.

Youtube and Google Videos: I teach theatre and media studies and one of the biggest problems I had as a student was the lack of visual materials that were used in my classes.  In my classes video streaming sites like Youtube and Google are invaluable because they provide such a large repository of materials.  Furthermore, I can easily embed them into my course sites so that videos are within the context of the other materials I am using making it easy to juxtapose text, videos, images, and even audio.  By the end of the semester most of my students are also embedding video into their work and they quickly have come to realize the value of integrating audiovisual materials in their work.  If you would like to see this in action in some of my classes, let me know and I can give you access to my wikis and blogs for my courses.

Mediawiki: Mediawiki is extremely powerful and robust wiki software.  Most people know it without knowing it because it is the software used by Wikipedia(in fact, many people don’t even realize you can edit Wikipedia).  To start, mediawiki is very bare bones because, like much open source software, it has an extremely high upside and the possibility for customization.  Plugins, themes, and extensions about that allow an administrator to really enhance its capabilities.  The wiki coding is also robust (as it is in Wikidot) and can extend from simple bold and italicizing to meta-HTML and the creation of tables, anchors, divs, and other tools in the web developer’s toolkit.  You can do a lot with Mediawiki and it can quickly become a robust resource.  For an example of an implementation of Mediawiki look at how the Graduate Center’s Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program uses it as a hub for their program.  This is an installation I initiated and oversaw.  In particular look at the syllabi and how each week has a dedicated and evolving page.

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