Sunday, February 8, 2009

PB Wiki and the Seventh Grade Animations

The seventh grade has been using The Gimp to create animated aquariums. I've worked on this exercise with past classes. This year, we've been talking about copyright, Creative Commons, and the public domain. It's now time from them to select a license for their work.

PB Wiki
Over the summer, I became a certified PB Wiki educator by completing their online Summer Camp in 2008. You can pre-register here now. It was fairly easy and really had great tutorials to learn the ins and outs of PB Wiki. Like all other things, I created the wiki, but have really relied on what I know - WIkispaces.

By completing the course, I was given a Gold account. I knew that it would come in useful because it has a large amount of online storage and different kinds of security features. Over the summer I planned a lesson to create animated GIFs. This account would be the perfect place to hold the files.

Some Things Are the Same
The basics of wiki editing are very much the same in both PB Wiki and Wikispaces. The both have a WYSIWYG editor. I use the same type of file naming conventions in both spaces. I can import files, use embed codes, and display any type of content I can imagine.

Some Things Are Different
It took me a bit of time to remember how to import files, set up students without email by creating classroom accounts, and create and use templates from the summer course. PB Wiki's help manual is great. I easily found all these items by searching their help manual.

What I Really Like
When I learned about folders in the summer course, I wasn't sure why I would want to use them. Wiki files pile up pretty quickly. It was so easy to create a folder called Commons. Now each of the files related to this project are all in one neat folder making it easier to grab the page I need.

Coming Soon - Aquariums
Over the week of February 9th, the seventh grade will be uploading their aquariums. Mine is at the top of this post. They will look at my page to see how their Creative Commons, public domain, or full copyright citations should appear. Some of the students have made some really nice animations. I am looking forward to seeing what type of license they choose and reading their explanation of why they made that choice.


  1. Great idea having the students deliberately pick the license for their creations. I've never heard of Gimp before. Looking forward to checking these out. Thanks for sharing! :) George

  2. The aquarium is such a great idea to start with for animation! Look forward to seeing the rest of the project.

  3. Gimp is a powerful free open source piece of software. It's a bit complicated, but I've had sixth through eighth grade use it with success. It's available for Windows and Mac.

    Thanks for the comments!

  4. This looks like a fun project. Can you create the animated GIF right from Gimp? I need to look into Gimp more to see if I could use it on our old computers.

    BTW, I think you can use folders on wikispaces too. I haven't even done it but I think you can.

  5. Vicky:
    You create the animation in Gimp as layers. When you save it as a .GIF, one of the radio buttons says Save as Animation.

    I've used Gimp on an older Windows XP machine with great results. Let me know if you need some help. You'd probably want to work on it over vacation to become comfortable with it. It's a great, free, powerful program. I certainly don't use it to its full capability.

    My husband made the NJ Tech Teacher logo at the top of the blog with Gimp. He uses it at work to create images for web pages.