What is a Wiki and Why Do I Need One?

Wiki means "fast" in Hawaiian and to put it simply, a wiki is a fast and simple web site creation tool. Wikis also allow visitors to contribute and modify content which makes them a powerful social networking tool. If you have accessed Wikipedia for quick information, you have used a wiki. Unfortunately, Wikipedia is often discounted in academic circles because, while a fantastic resource, it can be edited by anyone in the world. Herein lies a troubling paradox...a collective, global, dynamic information source that is subject to misinformation and vandalism. As an educational tool however, wikis offer an avenue for connection and collaboration that has amazing potential.

Check out "Wikis in Plain English" for a very bare bones explanation of a wiki
another great video by Common Craft

So why use this technology in a classroom?

  • For Peer to Peer Sharing--because postings can be viewed by other wiki members, students can learn from each other and review and respond to each others work.

  • Because it's all the rage! Wikispaces alone just announced that this month they gave away their "100,000th free wiki for K-12 education". Wow! This amazing tool is growing so quickly in usage - flexibility, efficiency, collaboration, continuous editing all in your wiki!

Ready to get started?