What is a Wiki?

A wiki is a web site that lets any visitor become a participant: you can create or edit the actual site contents without any special technical knowledge or tools. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection. A wiki is continuously “under revision.” It is a living collaboration whose purpose is the sharing of the creative process and product by many. One famous example is Wiki-pedia, an online encyclopedia with no “authors” but millions of contributors and editors. The word "wiki" comes from Hawaiian language, meaning "quick" or "fast."

How a Wiki Works

Wikis in the Classroom Video by Vicki Davis

Advantages of a Wiki
  • Anyone can edit
  • Easy to use and learn
  • Wikis are instantaneous so there is no need to wait for a publisher to create a new edition or update information
  • People located in different parts of the world can work on the same document
  • Wiki software keeps track of every edit made and it's a simple process to revert back to a previous version of an article
  • Widens access to the power of web publishingto non-technical users
  • Wiki has no predetermined structure - consequently it is a flexible tool which can be used for a wide range of applications

Disadvantages of a Wiki
  • Anyone can edit so this may be too open for some applications, for example confidential documentation. However it is possible to regulate user access.
  • Open to SPAM and vandalism if not managed properly. There are easy ways to restore a page and you can set your wiki so that students have to log in to edit pages.
  • Requires Internet connectivity to collaborate.
  • The flexibility of a wiki's structure can mean that information becomes disorganised. As a wiki grows, the community plans and administers the structure collaboratively.

Wikispaces for Educators
  • Private(free for Educators) - Only wiki members can view and edit pages
  • No advertising
  • Unlimited number of pages and discussion posts
  • Create student accountsin bulk
  • Page histories -you can easily monitor the activity on your wiki
  • Determine who can access your wiki by setting your wiki permissions. Make it open to the public, protected from editing by non-members, or completely private.
  • Embed media