by Craig Wilkie, Nottinghamshire Wiki Co-ordinator
Nottinghamshire County Council began an ambitious rollout of Wikis earlier in 2015. We’ve had some great successes, however, we all know that there is a way to go to ensure every young person who would benefit from a Wiki, has access to one.
I wanted to share some of the techniques and tools we used to support the rollout of RIX Wikis.
In Nottinghamshire this was led by our Centres of Excellence – these are local schools, charities and organisations that have adopted wikis and champion their use on a broader scale throughout Nottinghamshire.
Because Nottinghamshire is a large shire county council, we identified Centres of Excellence across the local Nottinghamshire districts to deliver support with a local flavour and focus.
Here are my 5 tips for harnessing the support from local hubs or Centres of Excellence and empowering them to really drive forward the use of Wikis.
- Build confidence and expertise within the Centre of Excellence. Encourage the team within a Centre of Excellence to access the online training courses provided by RIX Media that are part of the start-up product package.
- Provide them with a road map. We developed a Maturity Matrix for Centres of Excellence. This self-evaluation tool enabled them to chart their current activities and aspirations. It also provides Centres of Excellence with a framework of actions and challenges to achieve to move on to a new level of maturity as a Centre of Excellence. (Maturity Matrix for Centres of Excellence and Active Wiki Centres is available as part of the RIX Start-Up Pack)
- Coordinated communication – We used a Wiki as an information portal for the public to learn about our plans, find out how to access support and more importantly make it easy for parents to sign up for a Wiki online. (www.nottswikis.org). We gave editing access of this portal to our Centres of Excellence to encourage them to post and communicate news and achievements collectively.
- Connect up to the Local Offer – Make sure the Centre of Excellence communicates the same information about their Wiki support services and activities through their own website and their page on the Local Authority for the appropriate Local Authority.
- Provide resources – As a Wiki Coordinator, I provided quality marketing resources to the Centre of Excellence with opportunities to add their logos and branding, along with contact information. This made it simple for Centres of Excellence to quickly promote their role and services and activities.
Centres of Excellence or local hubs are critical to developing and sustaining Wiki use in any Local Authority. The innovation and local networks which Centres can offer are one of the most effective way of rolling out Wikis in your Local Authority.