Monday, January 23, 2012

Thing 5: Wikis

A wiki is a collaboratively edited website. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is probably the largest and most well-known example of a wiki, but the wiki platform can be used for many other things.
Watch this Wikis in Plain English video from Common Craft (you'll need to click through to YouTube
) to get an idea of what wikis are and what they can do.

What do wikis let you do?
  • Anyone can edit content--you can have an open wiki, or restrict the wiki to be edited only by those you invite (you can even set page-level editing permissions)
  • You can easily track who's making changes, and what they're changing
  • If you accidentally change or delete something, you can easily revert back to an older version of the page.
  • You don't need to know HTML or any other coding language in order to apply styles and formatting
  • It's a great way for students to gather and share resources on a project or unit
  • Wikispaces provides ad-free wikis for educational use
Here are some examples of wikis being used in educational settings:
I've created a wiki for you to play with; for ease of use, I've set it up so that anyone (with or without a wikispaces account) can edit it. There are a few quick tutorials for editing here: Editing Wikispaces
Wikispaces changed their layout shortly after I made those videos, but hopefully they'll still be useful.

To complete Thing 5:
  • Watch the video about wikis
  • Visit the examples of wikis being used in classrooms to get some ideas
  • Go to the 14 Things to Tame wiki and follow the directions there to edit the wiki
  • Copy and paste the comment you leave there into a new blog post.

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