Dropbox can synchronize a TiddlyWiki database among multiple devices, including
desktop computers, laptops, and mobile phones.
A teacher could provide a template
for an assignment that each student
can use for completion of their research. For example, a miniature
database can be useful for a science
notebook, especially for projects involving a taxonomy or classification
system. This can involve phyla in the
life sciences, chemical structures in
the physical sciences, and so on. Historical events and timelines also lend
themselves to a note-card structure,
with one event or historical character per note card and links to related
cards and/or tags to organize large
groups of cards.
When students work in teams, they
can import their individual note-card
files into a single master file. This
provides a way for students to work
independently with the goal of contributing to a larger collaborative effort. If
students tag the cards they create with
their name, teachers can track the contributions of each student.
Tiddly Wiki is best suited for small
projects involving a few hundred note
cards. As a way around this limitation,
users can create several linked TiddlyWiki files for a single project.
customize it in many ways. Developers wrote the application using a combination of HTML, Cascading Style
who are familiar with HTML and CSS
can customize the application’s layout,
format, and colors.
Tiddly Wiki can import plug-ins
that extend its capabilities. A large and
active user community has developed
plug-ins for this purpose. This allows
students and educators who may not
be familiar with HTML or CSS to
customize Tiddly Wiki's functionality. There are plug-ins for “to do” lists,
a customization to support creative
writing, a version of Tiddly Wiki with
resizable windows, a code sharing
tool, extensions that support the development of slideshow presentations,
and many others.
Because Tiddly Wiki does not require
a web server, it also offers a good environment for introducing and teaching
web technologies, such as HTML and
CSS. This allows students to directly
edit HTML and CSS and see the results
immediately across multiple pages.
An Extensible Architecture
Tiddly Wiki is fully functional in its
standard download, but you can also
The combination of Tiddly Wiki plus
Dropbox is a particularly powerful
way to collaborate. Because Dropbox
creates a synchronized local copy of
the file on each device, users can ac-
cess the local copy even without an
internet connection. This can be a
significant advantage when the con-
nection is intermittent or unreliable.
It also results in increased speed of
access when the internet is available.
Once users re-connect their devices,
Dropbox synchronizes the local files.
Glen Bull is co-director of the
Center for Technology and
Teacher Education in the
Curry School of Education
at the University of Virginia.
Tom Hammond is an assistant
professor in the College of
Education at Lehigh