A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and perhaps the most well known of these knowledge sharing tools, but with benefits that wikis provide the use and popularity of these tools is exploding.
Some of the benefits that make the use of wikis so attractive are:
· Anyone (registered or unregistered if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
· Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
· Earlier versions of a page can be rolled back and viewed when needed.
· Users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content.
As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, Libraries all over the country have begun to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, ALA conference wikis and even Library best practices wikis.
Watch this CommonCraft video. It illustrates a wiki "in Plain English" very well.
If the embedded YouTube version does not show, you can view it directly from the Common Craft site.
Take a look at some Library wikis. Here are a few examples to get you started:
- AASL Conference 2007 interactive presentation by David Loertscher with presentation notes and audience responses.
- Library Success: A best practices wiki
- Library Bloggers Wiki
- SJCPL Subject Guides – a pathfinder wiki developed by the St. Joseph County Public Library system.
- Book Lovers Wiki - developed by the Princeton Public Library.
- The Albany County Public Library Staff wiki – an example of a wiki created for Library staff to document procedures.
- Sample school wiki
- Sample Literary Circle Wiki (10th Grade English)
- Sample AP World History Wiki
- Other library wiki examples
For more Wikis including ones used by teachers see Blogroll at this blog: http://alibraryisalibrary.blogspot.com/
Use these resources to learn more about wikis:
Atomic Learning has some helpful video clips for Wikis. In the "Our Tutorials" tab chose "PBwiki - Wiki Workshop" or type "wiki" in the search box. (SBISD employees only...password protected)
· Wiki, wiki, wiki - from the Core Competency blog of the Public Library of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County.
· Wikis: A Beginner’s Look – an excellent short slide presentation that offers a short introduction and examples.
· What is a Wiki? – Library Success wiki presentation.
· Using Wikis to Create Online Communities – a good overview of what a wiki is and how it can be used in Libraries.
Wikis can be made for any classroom:
· Idea #1: Collaborative note-taking. Everyone pitches in and adds a fact or two about a topic. Teachers can encourage students to include opinions, challenges, and appropriate criticism. Students would then write essays using only these notes. Make sure that each addition includes a citation to website, book, or database, including page numbers so that it can be checked.
· Idea #2: History. Students can compile a wiki of famous artists, architects, writers, and other key historical figures from a city, state, or country.
· Idea #3: Create a "top 10" lists and supporting material. This could include scientists and their discoveries, top writers and their books, ... you get the idea.
· Idea #4: Mission trading cards (see Week 3), once completed, could be added to a class wiki.
A sandbox is a term that wikis often use to describe the area of the website that should be used for pure play so for this discovery and exploration exercise, go to the sandbox portion of the Spring Branch Library Future wiki -- go ahead and play! The username is "sbisd" and the password is "sbisdlib."
Discovery Exercise 1. Visit the sandbox portion of the Spring Branch Library Future wiki and add something about your 23 Things learning experience to this point. Remember the username is "sbisd" and the password is "sbisdlib."
You may want to add a link. Click on Sign-in in upper right corner Fill in username and password as listed above. Click on the edit button. Add you comment (just like you would type a post box on your blog) Be sure and click on Save--either at the top in the editor bar or at the bottom way on the right!
Discovery Exercise 2. Create a post in your blog about the experience.
How might you use wikis?
· PB Wiki Tour - Find out how this collaborative tool can be used (YouTube-won't show in district)
· PBWiki Video Gallery - Short videos of PBwiki features
Idea #1: Select one of your favorite curriculum ideas from your own blog. "Copy and paste" it to the sandbox portion of the Spring Branch Library Future wiki wiki. The username is "sbisd" and the password is "sbisdlib." What did you find interesting? What types of applications within Libraries and schools might work well with a wiki?
By the way: Have you made some comments in any other Players' blogs?