Why Minarets?

When you create a wiki you are always asked to give it a name - I can never think of anything witty or meaningful! I have used "Thistle" before because a dear friend used to call my husband "Thistle Chewer" because of his Scottish heritage. However, the name Thistle had already been taken - somebody else already has a Wiki in Wikispaces called Thistle - I did wonder if it was me - have I already created a Wiki called "Thistle" and forgotten about it? So I had to think of another name - I did think I could just call it "No Name" or "Blank" or "I can't think of a name" but I decided that was feeble, so I thought for a bit and a few names ran through my head that were possibilities but they all seemed a little bit predictable and possibly already taken - places I lived, emblems, names of books, characters in books, rivers, you know the sort of thing. Then I thought of a place that has a special meaning for me - The Minarets - not the ones in romantic,sultry eastern countries but a beautiful series of cave passages in a cave system called Easegill in the North of England. One of the first places I went caving with the RRCPC and a place I came to know well. The Minarets always amazed me when I came upon them, I always knew where I was in this extensive cave system when I got there and, well, they are just there in my memory - a special place!

But why have I created a Wiki page? Because I can! Because I am experimenting with different ways of sharing information, learning, teaching. Part of my job is to help and support my colleagues in school to use technology in the classroom and also I guess to encourage them to use it for personal use as well. After all, if they are not confident with the tools that we want to encourage them to use with their students then they won't feel able to use them effectively in class. I also have a couple of Google Sites, as a family we have a Wordpress blog, I have experimented with Ning, Grou.ps, Kontain, Mahara, Podomatic, Kidblog, Wiki Educator and others that I can't remember!! I have accounts all over the place! So why start with Wikispaces now? Well, I have had an account for a few years and just followed other people's Wikis, and contributed occasionally. These holidays, now I have recovered from the ravages of an eleven week term, I thought I would spend some time tidying up and sorting out my blogs and wikis and making a list of all the usernames and passwords. Last year I exported my Ning account to Grou.ps when Ning dropped their free version but haven't really had time to explore it. Frankly, I am disappointed. I don't like the adverts, the free version is very limited, it is quite clunky and doesn't look nice! I got to thinking that actually I didn't really need it anyway - the reason for creating the Ning in the first place has gone, so why bother keeping it going? But then I thought that it serves a purpose in terms of research and practising, and finding out what is good and what isn't, what is helpful and what isn't, as a comparison for other sites. So it will stay there, I won't delete it, and I will occasionally go to it and update it. There are links below to my other pages - most of them have the same or similar content and this Wiki will probably follow the same pattern. But it will give me the opportunity to explore, see how a Wiki works and hopefully collaborate.
Look to the right for pages for the other "hats" I wear ....

education, caving, learning, elearning