"What is a wiki?"

  • In the simplest terms a wiki is a web site that you can easily edit.
  • Thousands of teachers are using wikis for collaborative work with their class, department or grade level.
  • A wiki has all the functionality of a web site but has some distinct advantages:
    • It is FREE, and
    • Because it is hosted online and not on the school server,
      • You can edit it whenever and wherever you'd like (at school, at home) and the changes will be effective immediately.

Here is a short (3:52) video, "Wikis in Plain English" that gives a great basic introduction to wikis:

Produced by The Common Craft Show

What else can I do with a wiki?

Now that you have a basic understanding of the collaborative component of wikis, and maybe even have an idea of how you might utilize this technology, hang on, there's more...
  • As you have already seen, you can add hyperlinks to text which will link the text to another page on the wiki or to an outside web site. So when you see text highlighted in blue, like this, you are able to click on it to go somewhere else (in this case it is linked to our district web page).
  • And as you already know, videos can be embedded into a wikis.
    • It really is an easy process - you simply cut and paste...
  • Audio is also easily uploaded to a wiki, so you can post your podcasts on your wiki site, too.
    • Just click on the icon .
      • Though this is not as elegant of a look as what you can do with a Weebly web site, or iWeb, and it does open up another page, a wiki does serve the purpose of creating a fully functional web presence.
  • As with web sites, you can create multiple pages so you can have a welcome page, a schedule page, a newsletter page, a recommended web sites page, pages for students collaborative work and on and on...

So, let's review:

  • A wiki can do everything that a traditional web site can do, but with a couple of important advantages:
  • It is FREE and easy to edit!
  • You can add video segments, audio and other cool gadget like web widgets without knowing any fancy computer code!

Ready to get started?

Go to wikispaces.com (just follow this link) to set up your FREE wiki.

Did I tell you that unlike some wiki services, Wikispaces offers AD FREE wikis for teachers?

Before you sign up, I would also suggest that you read some of the information so you can get a better understanding of this technology and see how other teachers are integrating wikis into their classrooms.

Obviously, there are some other great features of a wiki that we can delve into later, such as:
  • the discussion tab (which encourages more social networking) and
  • the history tab (which allows you to revert back to previous versions - just in case someone accidentally erases all your hard work).
    • But let's stop for now and hope this brief introduction has given you enough information to get started.

Want some help?

I would be more than happy to help you get started and work with you as you develop your wiki ideas!