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If you look at a page in MediaWiki, you'll find three main navigation elements: The sidebar on the left gives you access to important pages in the Wiki like recent changes or file upload. At the top of the page are the tabs which belong to the page currently displayed: its associated talk page, the version history, and — most notably — the edit tab. In the top right corner you'll find, as an anonymous user, the link to create an account and login (they are on the same page). As a logged-in user you have a collection of personal links, like the one to your user page or your preferences.
The sidebar on the left edge of the screen contains important navigational resources. It will always be there on every page and it gives you access to substantive content and to useful tools, like recent changes or file upload. Here is what the links on it do.
- what educates? — A click on "What educates?" at the top brings you back to the homepage of StudyPlace, organizing inquiry and reflection on the basic question, What educates? You can navigate to much in the site from it.
These links take you to the substantive core of StudyPlace. Whether you are simply a reader or plan to be an active editor, your experience of StudyPlace will be fullest if you explore a bit what these hubs enable you to do.
- converse — This portal leads to the various conversations about what educates. These aim primarily to reinvigorate consideration of the great commonplace themes about life and experience that a full education will encompass.
- explain — There is much to explain about the systematic study of what educates. To do so, StudyPlace includes two large projects. One will develop a comprehensive set of engaging lectures explaining what scholars have learned about education through their research and inquiry. The other will construct a 21st century encyclopedia of education, Wiki-ed.
- reflect — This hub enables contributors to post essays and works-in-progress for comment and discussion, reflecting on diverse aspects of what educates and what does not.
- review — Here contributors can review films, books, plays, exhibits, trends, popular culture, technologies, and on, examining how such matters serve to educate and to miseducate, collectively building a body of pedagogical criticism.
StudyPlace is a site for working together developing ideas. To do so well, we need to develop for ourselves effective support facilities and shared expectations about how we will work. These links lead to resources to help us do so. Remember that the entire site is a self-creating effort by its users. Hence, if you see ways to improve these resources, do so.
- newcomers — You are here.
- the_commons — Here you can engage in developing ideas about StudyPlace and the forms of intellectual activity activated by it. Here we join to commune together about the nature of our work.
- masterlist — Here you will find a full listing of content pages in each organizational part of the site. The hub pages feature a wide selection of materials; the masterlist allows you to go quickly to any page, whether featured or not.
- work tools — Here you will find links to many external resources useful in creating and editing work on StudyPlace.
- help page — Here you can get an overview of StudyPlace help resources.
- policy — You can use this page to unravel how many policies and guidelines for StudyPlace derive from Wikipedia, while noting important ones that diverge from those more suitable for a comprehensive encyclopedia.
- recent changes — Here you can see who has been doing what recently, a good way to keep in touch with what is going on.
- courses — Here you will access a small portal leading to (1) a few courses that situate their web resources on StudyPlace and (2) a general invitation to instructors and students to frame written assignments in courses (of all sorts) as substantive contributions to peer production on StudyPlace.
- Go — By entering the name of a page in the search box, clicking "Go" will take you directly to it. Many articles in StudyPlace have short obvious titles, and "Go" is the quickest way to get to them.
- Search — On entering a word or phrase, clicking "Search" will bring up a ranked set of links to pages where that word or phrase occurs. You will find "Search" to be an effective navigational resource on StudyPlace. Frequently, however, clicking in via the links under converse, explain, reflect, and review, or using the masterlist, will be your most effective form of navigation.
- Create Page — Enter the name of the page you want to create and then click "Create Page." An edit box for that page will appear, which you can begin. The disadvantage of this means of starting a new page is that there will be no links to it unless you subsequently enter ones elsewhere. You will often find the alternative means of starting a new page useful — simply entering a link on an existing page and saving it. You will see that your newly entered link is red, not blue, indicating that the newly create page has no content. By clicking on the red link and putting something in the new page, you will have started it and linked it to another, all at once.
- What links here — This link activates a function showing what pages link to the one you are at. It is useful to read when wanting to find topics that might lead to the current one you are looking at, and it is useful when editing to consider whether you should add new links to a current page.
- Related changes — Here is a function that will show the recent history of edits on pages linking to the one you are at.
- Upload file — " This link takes you to a form through which you can upload an image or media file, which you may want to include in an edit you are making. To include an image on a page you are editing, you must first upload the image to StudyPlace and then insert it into your text with a link the basic syntax — [[Image:filename.jpg]]. As you can learn from the Wikipedia tutorial, there are several modifications to this syntax that allow for good formatting effects.
- Special pages — This link takes you to a listing of various pages that users may find helpful or interesting. You will find the "Special pages" list worth exploring to get to know what the system can help you do.
- Printable version — This button formats a page for printing. It does not accomplish much that simply instructing your browser to print a page will not do. Either way, pages with external links combined with some formatting may not print well (except Internet Explorer 7.0). Firefox 1.5 and 2.0 and Internet Explorer 6.0 expand external links in printed versions, probably on the not-unreasonable assumption that a reader will want to know the URLs, but sometimes the expansion wreaks havoc with the way the page prints.
- Permanent link — This button moves to a URL that contains the system ID for the page you are viewing in the current state. You can then bookmark that page or otherwise save or link to the URL so that any time in the future you can return to the page in its present state.
The toolbox contains a selection of links which change depending on what type of page you are viewing.
On all pages (except special pages):
- What links here takes you to a special page that lists the pages on this wiki which contain a link to the current page. This is helpful when you are looking for pages of related information. The What links here information can also be useful when you are refactoring wiki pages and need to check whether links to this page are still relevant after changes in the current page.
- The Related changes tool lists all recent changes in the pages linked to from the current page. Recent changes to all relevant template pages are included in the resulting page list. The "Hide minor edits" option that can be set in the user preferences applies, among other things, to Related Changes.
On all pages (including special pages):
- Upload file displays a special page that allows logged-in users to upload images and other files to the wiki. Uploaded files can be linked-from or embedded-in wiki pages. Uploading files, viewing files on the server, including them in wiki pages and managing the uploaded files is discussed in the managing files section of this manual. This is not displayed if file uploading has been disabled or not enabled in the first place.
- The Special pages tool lists the MediaWiki special pages. In MediaWiki terminology, a special page is one that presents information about the Wiki and/or allows access to administration activities for the wiki. For example, a list of users registered with the wiki, statistics about the wiki such as the number of pages and number of page edits, system logs, a list of orphaned pages, and so on. These special pages are commonly generated when the special page is loaded rather than being stored in the wiki database.
- The function and use of the default special pages can be found in the special pages section of this manual.
The page tabs are displayed at the top of the article to the right of the site logo (if using the default MonoBook skin). These tabs allow you to perform actions or view pages that are related to the current article. The available default actions include: viewing, editing, and discussing the current article. The specific tabs displayed on your pages depend on whether or not you are logged into the wiki and whether you have sysop (administrator) privileges on the wiki. On special pages only the namespace tab is displayed.
- Default for all users
- namespace (article, help, special page, template, user page etc.)
- edit (may be view source if anonymous editing is enabled, the page is in the MediaWiki namespace or the page is protected)
- Extra tabs for logged in users
- Extra tabs for sysops
The user links are displayed at the top far right of the article (if using the default MonoBook skin). These tabs allow the logged-in user to view and edit their user page and wiki preferences. Additionally, the user links allow the user to quickly access their contributions to the wiki and logout.
For anonymous users the user links is replaced by a link to the wiki login page or, if enabled, a link to your ip address and your ip address's talk page.
- This links to your user page which is where you can put information about yourself, store bits of information you want to remember or whatever else you fancy.
- my talk
- This links to your discussion page, where people can leave messages for you.
- Allows you to change your personal site preferences.
- my watchlist
- A list of all pages that you are watching. Pages can be added to this list by clicking 'watch' at the top of the page.
- my contributions
- A list of all contributions you have made to the wiki.
- log out
- Click this link to log out of the wiki.