It's a Wiki Wonderland!

by Fritz Geissler

Finding time to collaborate and plan with colleagues is like looking for that proverbial needle in the haystack. Once you find the time, staying on task can be equally difficult. What if you could collaborate at a time that works best for you? For both of you?

Welcome to wiki. A wiki allows multiple users to collaboratively create and edit content online while keeping a history of changes. Simply put, two or more teachers can log into their wiki and collaboratively create and write without the hassle of multiple versions of a word-processing document or looking for the notes they took when they last got together. For an entertaining demonstration of how wikis work, see the YouTube video Wikis in Plain English.

Collaborating online is a useful process for teachers working together on lessons, presentations, and other projects. As you become more comfortable working and collaborating using wikis, consider how the collaborative process can be powerful for students, too. Peer editing and projects across classrooms are great starting points for having students enter the world of wikis.

As wikis have grown in use and popularity, Google and Microsoft have created similar ways to collaborate. Google Docs has many of the same features as wikis while Microsoft has designed a beta version of Microsoft Office Live Workspace to allow for online collaboration.

Many wiki sites allow free access for educators and offer secure password protection for wikis. Google Docs is free to anyone and is also password protected.

For more information on the use of wikis, visit the following sites:

 

PBWorks Wikispaces Wetpaint (no longer available)

 

Whichever way you go, you are sure to enjoy the freedom of online collaboration