Blogs aren’t the only show in town when it comes to easily creating a Web presence. A Wiki might be just what you are looking for. So what’s a “wiki”? The wiki was created and named 14 years ago by Ward Cunningham. He was looking for a name to call his easy-to-use Web page software. Cunningham, who in the late 80′s helped develop HyperCard on the Mac, remembered the name of the Honolulu Airport shuttles called Wiki Wikis. Wiki is a Hawaiian word for “quick”. The Hawaiian word is actually pronounced wee-kee, but has been distorted in the context of technology to “wick-ee”.
A wiki is an easy-to-use online piece of software that lets users create Web pages without having to know anything about, well, actually building Web pages. But wikis are intended not for just a single user, but for groups of people to collaborate in sharing information. Wikipedia is the most well know example of a wiki where anyone can add information about any topic.
What would you use a wiki for in an educational context? Currently wikis are being used for maintaining meeting minutes, classroom projects, grant writing and more. Any group that is collaborating online could use a wiki.
But you’ll get a better feel for how you might use a wiki by looking at these examples:
1000 Names: A Canadian first and second grade classroom wondered what 1000 names would look like.
21st Century Ed Tech: Resources and tools for the 21st century technology classroom.
Adams Middle School News: Everything that is happening at this Redondo Beach, California school.
The Teenager’s Guide to Everywhere: Students in an English class researched interesting information about places and created FAQs for them. The combined effort has produced a kind of travel guide for fellow teenagers.
Terry the Tennis ball: Students in Australia created this “choose your own adventure” story using a wiki to collaborate.
A quick way to get started is, no suprise, Google Sites. You can quickly create your own wiki with a Google account. Anyone can do it. It’s Web 2.o after all.