Over the past couple of weeks, Wetpaint has rolled out some features that for me are just more reasons to use Wetpaint.com. Some of these features are just wiki madness! You can now choose different “Layout Zones” for each page of your wiki, there are “Content Modules” that allow you to embed some cool wiki widgets in your site and a whole new way to apply for Education Ad-Free status right from within your wiki.
Let’s look at each of these new features and how they might apply to your site and the educational environment.
The new layout zones are a great way to split any given wiki page into a two column layout. I used this feature for the first time on a wiki I built for a conference. What I really love is that only when you edit do you know you have two columns. When someone is looking at your site they would never know. Secondly the feature is on individual pages so you have the flexibility to choose different formats for each page of your wiki.
This new layout feature opens the door to new ways of displaying data, quick notes to your class, or the use of the new Content Modules to show what’s happening on your site and make your page more dynamic. I have no insider knowledge on what Wetpaint is planning or working on, but I hope they expand on this idea and allow other types of page layouts.
I’m most excited about the new content modules that Wetpaint has added. When I first noticed the new features a couple of weeks ago I wasn’t sure how they would be used for education. But as I played with them, the two modules that I could see having the most impact are the Top Contributors and Hot Discussions Modules.
This module has a rotating wheel of who the top contributors are on a wiki. If you have a class wiki it’s a great way to highlight those students who contribute the most to it. Some students love to see their face or avatar on the home page as being a top contributor and I could see this module being used to motivate some students
A great way to show off where the conversations are taking place on your wiki. This module has a cool little flash interface that runs through the latest discussion updates on all pages site wide. I’ve already used it to keep up to date on where discussions are happening. Simply click on the thread within the module to be taken to that page and discussion.
Both of these updates to the EasyEdit Toolbar are great resources for wiki users and allow more flexibility within the site.
A new way to apply for Education Ad-Free Status!
Wetpaint has updated the way you apply for an ad-free education wiki. Below is a picture that will walk you through the process. Also remember that when you create your new wiki to choose the education category that way you will receive all newsletters and communications from Wetpaint that deal with education and wikis.
Remember when applying for Ad-Free Educational Status to give the web address to your wiki and give as much information as possible about what your wiki will be used for; grade level, content area, even school name are good to include in the upgrade form.