Teacher Leadership

Web Sites for Wiki Aficionados: Do You Wiki?

January 25, 2007

A wiki, in case you're still unfamiliar with the term, is a wonderful tool for collaborative learning and knowledge sharing, once you've got the hang of it. Chris O'Neal started the wiki ball rolling with his post,

You're seeing wikis spring up all over the place. Here are some I want to share with you. (Tell us how you're using wikis in the classroom.)

  • AmbientLibrarian This wiki helps librarians and other information science professionals learn about Web 2.0 technologies.
  • Wikispaces This site provides free wikis for K-12 teachers. So far, more than 10,000 people have signed up. Has any Spiral Notebook reader taken advantage of the offer? If so, let us know your opinion about it.

And, of course, there's the growing Wikimedia family of wikis. I don't know how far this phenomenon will go, but as long as people are willing to collaborate on creating content, it's full speed ahead. It all started with Wikipedia, and now there's...

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  • Wikibooks A collection of free textbooks that you can edit.
  • Wiktionary A wiki-based, multilingual, open-content dictionary.
  • Wikiquote A multilingual collection of quotes.
  • Wikisource A library of free content publications.
  • Wikinews A place where citizen journalists capture the daily news.
  • Wikispecies A directory of all forms of life.
  • Wikimedia Commons A repository of freely licensed photos, diagrams, animations, video, music, and other media.
  • Wikiversity A free learning community, still in beta (development in progress).Those of you interested in wikis may have fun exploring the following sites, but I can't attest to their value. A healthy dose of media literacy and critical thinking skills are required.
  • WikiHow.com An effort to build the world's largest how-to manual.
  • QuickyWiki Sort of a beta mash-up of Wikipedia and Cliffsnotes. I suppose this is good if you find Wikipedia too wordy, but in abbreviating Wikipedia listings, some accuracy and context has been lost.
  • Wikitravel A project to create an worldwide travel guide.

If you've found something on any of these wikis that you like, please share what it is and how you've integrated it into your teaching! And, if you've found wikis relevant to K-12 education, share them here.