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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

'Lite Edition' THING 4: Wikis

A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and likely the most well known of these knowledge-sharing tools. Wikis have many benefits, are easy to use, and have many applications.

Some of the benefits of wikis:

  • Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
  • Tracking tools allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
  • Earlier versions of a page can be rolled back and viewed when needed.
  • Users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content.
  • Multiple pages can be added to one wiki.
For an overview of wikis, watch this video:

Educational uses for wikis are great. Check out the site below to see examples of wikis in use:
  • Welker's Wikinomics (This is a teacher's class wiki. Check out the different areas of his wiki.)
To complete Thing 4:

  • Watch the video.

  • Visit the link above and explore how one teacher uses a wiki in the classroom.

  • Visit the 17 Things wiki. This wiki's settings are public, so anyone can view and edit the page. However, you can also change the settings so that only members of your wiki can view, edit, etc. Read the intro page of the wiki and then follow the directions about where/what to post.

  • Create a Wikispaces account.

  • Create a wiki for either school/personal use.

  • Write a post reflecting on your impressions of wikis. How could you use them in class? Have you ever done collaborative writing with kids? Would this be a possible way to do it? How is it different than Google Docs?

  • Post the URL (web address) of your new wiki.

  • Comment on at least one other person's blog- even if they haven't yet completed this Thing!

  • Note: Thing 5 will be posted on or around February 4th!

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