Teflpedia:Teachers' room

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Revision as of 17:52, 14 August 2012 by Ramati (talk | contribs) (→‎An award!)
Teacher.gif Hi, and welcome to Teflpedia's teachers' room

This is the place for general discussion about the Wiki; questions; chat; moaning about your school; praising your students or anything else that comes to mind.

Newest items are at bottom

To add a topic, click "Add topic" tab, above (you must log in to see it and even then it may be under the little drop down triangle if your browser window is not real wide)

Hi, There's tea or coffee for those who want it. --Bob M

New {{heart}}

Template:Heart Type {{heart}} on a page to bring it some editors' love and attention. Go ahead, try it! :-) Roger 14 February 2012

MediaWiki 1.18.1 upgrade

Hi friends, Bob and I are jointly administrating Teflpedia as of Feb 4, 2012. Bob is still the man in charge, if anyone is on a wiki. Someone's got to own the project; that's Bob. But I know how to tweak MediaWiki some. So I volunteered to help with stuff like upgrades and tweaks. Spammers were taking advantage of weaknesses in our old version of MediaWiki. So I upgraded Teflpedia to the new MediaWiki 1.18.1 and tweaked some settings that have stopped the robot spam. QuestyCaptcha is what is doing that for us; it's not fancy, just asks you some easy questions when you register or post a link. Oh, and on the Dathorn server we now have 10GB monthly data transfer limit instead of our former 2GB. So pass the word to your teacher friends: Teflpedia is the encyclopedia of English teaching! And see if you can stir them to create some Teflpedia pages about their very own favorite teaching tricks and activities, or contribute a favorite lesson idea, or join a debate. Cheers! :-) --Roger 00:58, 12 February 2012 (CST)

Uncategorized pages

Greetings All. Just popped into the above page to see if the was any cleaning up to be done. There are still a couple of things that I'd get rid of, but don't want to step on too many corns, so won't be bold. However, I noticed that both Teflpedia:Main Page and Teflpedia:Teachers' room (this one) are uncategorized. Am at two minds as to whether they "need" to be categorized, but unless there are overwhelming technical reasons for doing so, such as them being excluded from the "Random page" function, don't see any real need for it. Cheers! --Technopat 05:32, 18 February 2012 (CST)

Not to worry. I note that Teflpedia:Teachers' room is our virtual teachers room where the coffee is always fresh, while Teachers' room is an encyclopedic article. Also, there is no Teflpedia:Main Page while Main Page is our site "home" page. Help:Namespaces explains the various namespaces, the part of a page name before the colon, we use on Teflpedia. --Roger 18:13, 18 February 2012 (CST)
Categories just help people look for things in a certain category so not everything has to be categorized.--Bob M 02:00, 19 February 2012 (CST)

Want an article name

There are a number of sites on the web where freelance teachers can advertise themselves - frequently gratis. I'd like to mention their existence and link to various ones but don't want to put the information on the freelance teachers' page as it's already big enough. But I can't think of a snappy page title. Any ideas?--Bob M 04:26, 21 February 2012 (CST)

Freelance links any good? --Technopat 06:04, 21 February 2012 (CST)
Thanks but not really. These are specific links which take you to pages which you can use to advertise your business. I think I'll create it on a userpage while we think of a title. But not today.--Bob M 06:57, 21 February 2012 (CST)

Wrong template?

Greetings All. Have just come across the template {{wrong|xxx}} over at the article on Contraction. While I think it's great to have a specific template to highlight typical mistakes, I reckon it might be better to substutute this one (which highlights stuff in red) for one along the lines of (NOT ... xxx) or, to use a more standard form (*xxx). The trouble with the latter version is that while most teachers will know what that asterisk stands for, many students probably won't. I'd rule out the other possiblity which is also seen sometimes, (blah, blah) as it may not be clear to non-native users. How go we? --Technopat 08:24, 25 February 2012 (CST)

To be honest, I'd be more keen on the strikeout.--Bob M 13:59, 29 February 2012 (CST)
The strikeout is certainly clearer and more categorical from an aesthetic point of view, but to non-native "users", i.e. people who are likely to be unfamiliar with the construction of certain words in English, being unable to see the letters clearly might affect their perception of the actual problem being pointed out. It's a bit like the captchas - is that an "a" or an "e" or an "o" with a line through the centre, or to put it another way, does it say band, bend or bond? --Technopat 23:58, 29 February 2012 (CST)
Obviously I'm a native speaker, but I can see them pretty clearly as band, bend and bond.--Bob M 00:51, 1 March 2012 (CST)
How 'bout bland, blend or blond :) ? --Technopat 02:23, 1 March 2012 (CST)
I'm still reading them without any real difficulty. On the other hand I've got a very big monitor with font sizes set to be quite large for my old eyes so perhaps I'm not the best test subject. --Bob M 05:00, 1 March 2012 (CST)
I've just noticed that the Spanish-language language wiki I collaborate with has two templates: {{sí}} (a bold green tick) and {{no}} (a bold red cross) to show the difference 'tween right an' wrong. The alternative text would have to something clear, such as {{right}} and {{wrong}} to make it easier for people using screen readers, people with low vision, folks who are colour blind, etc. Which reminds me: how accessible is teflpedia? Someone who knows 'bout such stuff told me way back that websites using accessibility criteria were ensured higher placings in Google searches. --Technopat 11:45, 5 March 2012 (CST)
That sounds like a very good solution. On you other point this post from blind wiki seems to suggest there is room for improvement.--Bob M 04:25, 6 March 2012 (CST)

Anonymous editing

I favor turning anonymous editing off again, to stem the flow of bot net garbage edits. Anonymous editing was off for a year or more before our recent experiment with turning it back on. It is not hard for humans to log in; requiring it is understandable and normal these days. What say you all? --98.207.154.233 11:32, 29 February 2012 (CST)

I agree. It was interesting to see what would happen but for the time being we are better off without it.--Bob M 13:56, 29 February 2012 (CST)
Go for it, I say. I been happily editing away these days, smugly popping in knowing that I wouldn't have to waste me time an' energy blocking and deleting before I could get down to more constructive stuff. Be seein' ya, 98.207.154.233. Thank you for your contributions... --Technopat 02:28, 1 March 2012 (CST)
Okay, I have turned anonymous editing off. --Roger 12:00, 1 March 2012 (CST)

Lesson materials on subpages

Materials to be printed out and used as part of a lesson may best be placed on subpages of the lesson they are part of. This makes it both clear what lesson they are part of and makes it easy to print the materials out when necessary instead of the whole lesson. Lesson:Postcard home is an example of this. --Roger 13:02, 1 March 2012 (CST)

New category

Greetings All, Have just created a new category, Category:Confusing stuff which I reckon could be very useful to highlight those typically confusing aspects - other than mere, common-or-garden difficulties students may come across. However, ain't so happy about the name. Can anyone come up with a better suggestion? Cheers! --Technopat 05:22, 5 April 2012 (CDT)

S'pose it would help if I linked the actual cat. in question: Category:Difference_between.... Sorry! --Technopat 04:17, 7 June 2012 (CDT)
I like the name "Confusing stuff"! But maybe students might prefer something easier, maybe "That Was Easy!" Wiki note: I added a colon (:) to the front of your category link (wiki markup: [[:Category:Confusing stuff]]; produces in line link: Category:Confusing stuff) because that is how you do an in line text link to a category with wiki text. Without the leading colon the link to a category just categorizes the page and puts the link at page bottom which is not what you want when you want an in line text link. --Roger 13:31, 2 July 2012 (CDT)

Are Category:Difference between... and Category:Confusing stuff similar? The descriptions at top of these two categories are similar. Should these two categories be merged into one, or link to each other in their descriptions? --Roger 13:40, 2 July 2012 (CDT)

An award!

We've won an award! Site of the month at Teflnet.--Bob M 02:07, 3 June 2012 (CDT)

An award from Teflnet!
Yay! Tea and biscuits all round! SophieWilder 08:24, 3 June 2012 (CDT)
Let's not get carried away! One biscuit each.--Bob M 08:30, 3 June 2012 (CDT)
Cool write-up! That'll boost those great-looking stats and get the odd person bookmarking the site. Congrats to Bob & All! --Technopat 00:22, 7 June 2012 (CDT)
Our recent new sign-ups seem to have come from there - but they don't seen very active. :-( --Bob M 04:47, 7 June 2012 (CDT)
"Award-winning site" - I like it!--Bob M 04:50, 7 June 2012 (CDT)
:) --Technopat 06:19, 7 June 2012 (CDT)

Main Page Cleanup

I propose we clean up the wiki markup of Main Page so that it may be worked with more easily. Please examine the markup of this prototype Main Page --> Main Page Redo <-- and comment about it at Talk:Main_Page#Main_Page_markup. I reckon I will wait to hear from Bob before I replace the current Main Page with this new one.

Also, I propose we clean up Talk:Main Page as follows:

  • Put a note at top that, "Talk:Main Page is for discussing the Main Page itself. To discuss Teflpedia or ask questions, please use the Teflpedia:Teachers' room. Thanks!"
  • Delete all the old comments from Talk:Main Page that do not discuss the page itself.

May I? --Roger 13:58, 2 July 2012 (CDT)

I agree completely. :-)--Bob M 15:52, 2 July 2012 (CDT)

Done -- Main Page markup redone. Putting Main Page on a diet to follow in days to come, time permitting. --Roger 17:28, 2 July 2012 (CDT)