Wikispaces + RSS = No Worries

As I've mentioned earlier, I'm using Wikispaces for my online classroom space this year. I've been slow about getting students involved in using the wiki, mainly because of my limited experience using Wikispaces but also because of the limited time I had before the school year to do any sort of planning.

Locked down

Initially, I locked all the wiki pages that I created- The class home pages, weekly schedules, assignments, etc.  Students did not have the rights to edit these pages. They could create new pages and edit them, but I was worried about the slim risk of a student vandalizing a main page, which might then be seen by a parent or administrator before I (or someone else) deleted the vandalism.

I know this reasoning was fear-based, and I didn't like it. I want students to be able to edit anything and everything. I want to give them the chance to improve and collaborate online. What I needed was a better way to monitor page edits.

RSSRSS saved my life

After minimal searching, I realized that in addition to providing RSS feeds for the edits made to individual pages, Wikispaces also provided a "master" RSS feed for every page edit made on my space.

I quickly subscribed the the "all page edits" RSS feed via Google Reader, and instantly every page edit made on my class space was pushed to my reader. Suddenly I was confident that if anyone chose to vandalize a page I would notice it right away. I check my Reader at home, at school, and often via my phone. Gone on vacation? I can still check page edits no problem.

Currently many of the day-to-day page edits are my own. During class wiki projects, there's a deluge of edits, but it doesn't take much time to flip through them since you really only need to pay attention to any changes that were made.

To date there's been no vandalism on the class wiki. I doubt vandalism will ever be a problem. But now I can unobtrusively monitor editing activity so I don't even have to worry about it.

What it looks like

Wikispaces RSS feed


RSS Image by photopia / HiMY SYeD