14 June 2015

TiddlyWiki: A non-linear note book (Web 2.0 Tool 3)

I am always on the search for ways to collect, curate and organise information - both for my professional and my personal life. Recently, I stumbled across TiddlyWiki, which claims to be a
unique non-linear notebook for capturing, organising and sharing complex information (TiddlyWiki.com, 2014)
What drew me to it was its transformation of traditional note-taking techniques, such as index cards, into an interactive tool that lives on my computer and can house hyperlinks, self-proclaimed "hypertext index card from the future". What could there not be to love?

The site hosts helpful explanation video tutorials, as well as text instructions on how to get started. After watching the introduction, I must admit that whilst i feel it sounds good, I am not sure about the user-friendliness of it. Use of codes for formatting, etc., much like in the Bubbl.us mind-mapping tool I reviewed.

After the introduction, I decided to opt for the leisurely introduction, or the "Gentle Guide', which does admit that TiddlyWiki is,
conceived and constructed differently than most software. This can make it hard to understand until the moment when it clicks, and becomes a seamless extension of your brain. (TiddlyWiki, 2104).
I downloaded the empty file and managed to create three posts. However, I found it difficult - it was not intuitive and very difficult to save in the end.

Setting up the TiddlyWiki

The control panel does allow for some customisation, and I like that palettes are pre-chosen to avoid nasty, over-messy sites.

Equally, there are three view options and two themes, pre-chosen, presumably by designers who know what works and what doesn't. Again, this prevents time-wasting when it comes to frmatting and lyaout, leaving time for building. Which, in this case, you DO need, as it is not liek tools we might be used to.

You can also pick and chose the buttons you want to appear, based on your personal preferences. I think this would change over time, as you got used to the tool and decided what worked and what didn't work for you.

You can also choose your font - but need to know the name, as there is no drop down menu, you simply have to type in the font you want to use.

This is what my blank TiddlyWiki looked like after I had set it up. Creating this probably took longer than completed the previous two Web 2.0 Tools (Bubbl.us and Zunal).

Creating notes

 Pros and Cons

I do not think this would be a tool that I would use or recommend in the classroom as it is not at all straightforward. Perhaps, after time, it might be easy to use as it suggests, however, as teachers, we know that we don't have that time. Often, we are teaching content and don't have time to add in teaching new tools. We want user-friendly apps that can be picked up and used with ease immediately; apps that support the learning process not add on to it.

Here is a link to my completed TiddyWiki.