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Using this wiki can obviously be an intimidating step in terms of technology. I'm hoping that I can make it a better process for all of us by sharing a few tips for general use.

These are not rules! Just because I write advice here, you don't have to follow it. The idea in dispensing advice is to make the process easier for those not familiar with wikis. Take what helps you and leave the rest.





Small Pieces


I have found that if we break information in to pieces and put them on individual pages, it is then easier to reference later. So if you have a great unit on Romeo and Juliet with separate lessons, the page will likely serve us well if you create a page for each lesson instead of putting it all on one page. It makes the unit page less overwhelming and it makes it easier to reference your individual lessons where pertinent.

Links


Your information is only valuable if we can find it. After you create a page, make sure you edit one of the parent pages and add a link to the page you created. Also return to the front page and put an "advertisement" that you put up something new, so others can know there is something there without having to navigate beyond the front page.

Tags


This may be the key to making the content on this wiki site easy to find and access. Whenever you create a page, scroll all the way to the bottom and find a long, skinny box for tags. Above the box you'll see the phrase, "Optional: tags for this page, separated by commas." You then enter words that describe the content of the page you have created. For example, for the page I made for my Odysseus and me essay, I typed the following into that box: "essay,English 9,Odyssey" The entire phrase is a tag until I type a comma - the text after the comma is a new tag.

For help on doing it, see the quick video on how to insert tags.

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What this means is, if you then look to the "tag cloud" (group of tags) on the front page, you'll see these words there. Then you can click on "essay" and it will show you a list of every page on the wiki that is tagged with the word essay. This would enable me to find a great idea for an essay no matter where you entered it in the wiki. I might be looking for an essay for my English 11 class, but if you tagged the one you use for myth and symbol with "essay" I could stumble across it more easily.


Categories


Not everything fits into a category easily. If you have a lesson but think it fits in a couple places, make the one page and create multiple links to it. For example, my research paper unit is applicable to both freshmen and sophomores, so I'd be likely to make a way to find it from both the English 9 and English 10 pages.


Templates


When you create a new page, you have the option of using a template that I have created. The template is not perfect, but it does help you avoid staring at a blank page. Choose it and erase anything that does not apply to what you have created.


Don't Fight for Long


Please do NOT hesitate to ask for help. I have battled long and hard with odd glitches from this and other web applications, and whenever someone asks a "stupid" question instead of engaging those battles themselves, it makes those little victories of mine worthwhile. Please do not feel dumb for asking a question!


Sincerely,

Geoff





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