A Wiki is a tool that can be used to deliver content for students or by students to collaborate and share information. Ward Cunningham who developed the first Wiki named it after the Hawaiian word for "quick."
Go to the CommonCraft site to see a quick video about Wikis

Another source of information about Wiki's that applies more to education is from Teacher Tube.
A wiki may be as simple as a single page with content from one author or as complex as Wikipedia. It can be as basic as an easy website or a participatory, evolving repository for worthwhile content. Because making a wiki is as simple as word processing, students and teachers can readily use this tool. It encourages collaboration of ideas and information so it is useful for group projects. Because the information is posted to the web, students can continue their work at home.

Key facts about wikis:

  • Every version of the page is saved in the History section.
  • The History section also tracks who posted the version so you can monitor which students are working.
  • You can set the wiki's permissions to Public, Protected or Private. Public - You will probably want to use Private.
  • You can include a Discussion feature for each page,so users can leave comments about the page or the content.

Here are some sample classroom wikis to give you ideas:

Code Blue - 6th grade human body
Discovery Utopia - Literature discussion of different books depicting Utopia.
Flat Classroom Project - Global collaboration between U.S.high school students and those from many countries abroad. Bases on Friedman's The World is Flat, students studies and reported on the "flatteners" discussed in the book.
Grazing For Digital Natives - Introduces educators to various technological tools.
Great Debate 2008 - Obviously outdated now, but it demonstrates another use of a wiki.

Need More information? Here are some additional resources

Wiki Walk-Through - from Teachers First
Wiki Wisdom - article from Digital Directions.
Wiki While You Work - Presented by Mark Wagner at the 2006 K12 Online Conference. Good information but it is an hour long.

Creating a Wiki (included for reference)

Here are three good options for educators. We will be using WikiSpaces but you might want to check out the others to see the features that are offered.