Assembling the heterogeneous elements for (digital) learning

Playing with Wikity

What is Wikity?

I have a feeling I may not be able to give a good answer to that. That’s part of the point of the work this post starts. Play around with Wikity and explore some possibilities.

At the moment, I see Wikity as a new style of mindtool. One that might be useful for me personally, but may also be really useful for much more than just my personal use. It’s a Wiki type tool that runs on top of WordPress and is informed by the ideas of Federated Wiki. It’s the most recent instantiation of thinking from Mike Caufield.

The plan here is to install the 0.3 version of Wikity on my under utilised Reclaim Hosting site.


  1. Create a new sub-domain
    Straight forward
  2. Install WordPress – multisite
  3. Import the wikity theme – and hey it’s working – at least the home page has changed
  4. Install the auto-upload images plugin
    Wordpress wants to update this plugin, but advice for Wikity is not to.
  5. Start creating some initial cards
    1. “social” bookmark “Wik-it” with “OER as a participatory activity” creating this card.


Getting Wikity installed was always going to be the easy part. Figuring out how to use it productively and integrate that use into my regular practice was going to be the challenge.

The Wikity introduction positions “Title-Abstract-Treatment-Connections” as the best structure for a card.  It encourages people to engage with this by creating a new card, I’m wondering if I can edit an existing one (it’s a wiki, of course you can, is my expectation).

Mmm, the edit link in the card view brings up the WordPress edit screen. Wonder how that will work with markdown? But the catalog view gives the more markdown view.

The focus in wikity is not to summarise the article/resource, but to capture the idea.  Something I’m somewhat terrible at, and need to practice more.

Connections to other cards is important let’s try that be adding one on the Reusability Paradox. Oh nice, the auto image upload works. Though have to use the full syntax for the image.

Paths look interesting.

Use of WordPress pages could be useful for some of my potential applications of Wikity.

Copying other people’s work

Given I’ve self-installed wikity separate from others, can I still copy cards from others?

The docs don’t appear to yet touch on that, let’s try it out.  Find an intersting card, and try to copy it.  Stick in the URL for my wikity and hit copy.

Nice, that worked. Mmm, but it appears that the connection Mike made to another card (Ideology of Disgust) doesn’t come across correctly.  Or is that because he hasn’t written that card yet?  No, he created it.

Time to add another personal connection to it. Something I’ve been thinking about recently.

All that seems to be working.

Further applications

I can see some definite applications personally, as long as I have the discipline. Wonder if Diigo’s days are numbered? At least for personal use.

Beyond that there are some potentially interesting contributions Wikity can help with ideas around the BAD mindset, CASA, and some sort of foundation for a “distributed TPACK” approach.

Also some potential for teaching.  It would be a good fit for Networked and Global Learning.

All I need is time.

The immediate application might be to this project that is supporting a group of teacher educators using analytics to understand what’s going on in the courses.







Designing a collection of analytics to explore "engagement"


The need for technopedagogues and will it ever go away?


  1. mikecaulfield

    David — thanks for trying it. It’s interesting to be at a point where a number of people are giving this a go. I may finally have to fix some bugs I’ve been working around.

    But it’s a good problem to have.

    Some notes:

    WordPress edit screen vs. Catalog Edit Screen: eventually I hope to retire the WordPress editing screen, as it creates HTML and shortcodes that undermine the maintainability of markdown. For the moment we aren’t there yet, and so both exist. But I wonder if I should have the edit on the bottom of page edit in catalog view / simple markdown view. It seems like that was your expectation and I think it’s a good one.

    In general, I’d like to get to a point where we never have to look at the dashboard at all.

    Federated linking: This was working, and now appears not to be. On the bug list.

    The documentation is one release out of date. After I get some bug fixes in (I’m working on a nasty quote issue right now) I’ll get it up to dat.

    Thank you for giving the model of use I’ve set up a go. It’s opinionated, I know. It’s hard to remember back to when I started, so I can’t recapture whether it felt odd. But sitting here after doing it so long, it feels really pleasant and second nature. Obvious even. I need newbies like you to remind me what feels weird about it as you do it. Thanks!

    • I am really enjoying tinkering with the theme. Wondering how you add ‘tags’ without using the Dashboard?

      • admin

        Funny you should ask. I’ve been pondering that for quite a while myself but haven’t had the time/inclination to find out. Your quote has prompted a bit of a search, but I don’t have the time to follow all the way through.

        Quick Google search brought me to this pull request on the Wikity github repository, which seems to add the required functionality. The date on this is after I last updated my version of wikity.

        So when I have some time I’m going to try to update the code and hopefully that will provide the required functionality.

        • Thank you David for the link. That is exactly what I need. I have downloaded/installed the theme since that time so being rather foreign to Github, is it fair to say that these requests need to be accepted?

          • admin

            G’day Aaron,

            My apologies for the long delay in replying. Too much focus on work, not enough on interesting stuff like Wikity. My guess is yes, they need to be accepted. But that’s based on not actually looking in detail. Hoping to remedy that this weekend. Will let you know any progress.


  2. Thank you for sharing your initial thoughts on Wikity. I just discovered Wikity yesterday, and today I googled: install wikity; your blog post came up. At some point I’ll give Wikity a try.

    • I’ve only played a little with Wikity, but that limited experiences does suggest to me that there is a lot of promise in Wikity, in particular it’s ideas around federation etc. The big challenge – for me at least – is making the change in habits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén