As some of you know, I have been a booster for Wikispaces, especially in the classroom, for a couple of years now. However, I’ve recently made the decision to use PBWiki for my classroom activities. I really like the community around Wikispaces, but have lately been disappointed with their feature set. PBWiki recently got a big round of VC money, and it shows in the changes between PBWiki now, and PBWiki from a year or so ago. The editor now looks fairly easy to use, there’s a Wikispaces-style sign in ability (instead of individual passwords needing to be doled out to students for each wiki), and – my god, it’s full of widgets (sorry for the 2001 reference)! The only really disappointing thing is the storage space (a meager 10MB compared to Wikispaces’ 1GB for the free account). However, for educational wikis, PBWiki seems to turn off the advertising now, which is a good thing.
It’s always good to be pushing yourself to learn new platforms and new styles of doing the work you do. It’s one reason why I moved from Bloglines to Google Reader, from Blogger to WordPress, and now from Wikispaces to PBWiki.
If you’re interested, I’m using the PBWiki in my Kentucky Government and Politics (site under development) course this Fall semester. We used a Wiki in the same course last fall, and while the results were pretty good, I wanted to change the assignment up a bit, and figured, why not start a new wiki around that? So come and visit us at http://kentuckypolitics.pbwiki.com later this fall and see what we are up to. You won’t be able to edit or contribute (reserved for the class members), but you’ll be able to watch some interesting research and learning in progress. My experience with wikis in the classroom has been nothing but positive, and I expect this semester’s wiki project to be the best yet.
Now back to familiarizing myself with PBWiki!
Edit to clarify: Yes, we have a course blog as well as a course wiki. Blogging and wiki work both play a major role in this course. The hyperlink from the course title takes you to the blog (still getting the new WordPress one set up), while the URL I typed out takes you to the course wiki.