Wikis are collaborative websites that allow members of a site to add content. Of course, this site that you are visiting is a wiki. Anyone can view its content, but you must be a member to add or edit the content on the site, or to participate in discussions.

New to wikis? To create your own wiki, try Wikispaces. If you are an educator, don't try to create an account in the green box on the home screen...your site will contain advertisements. Instead, scroll down the page and click on the free for K-12 educators' link.

Some of our teachers have had great success using another free wiki tool called pbWiki. It has similar features to Wikispaces, but provides a different look and feel. Check out the NWE Library's pbwiki here: http://nwelibrary.pbworks.com

Teachers can use wikis in a variety of ways. Let's use this page to brainstorm all possible uses for wikis! So far, in our school, we have been using wikis to:


1. Conduct book discussions across period groupings and beyond the school day (Click to visit petersplace and pathfindersLA wikis)
2. Recommend uses of educational technology (like this site)
3. Create group projects, like digital scrapbooks, that include multimedia (photos, documents, PowerPoint presentations, video, podcasts)
4. Recommend books to other readers (visit nwlmsREADS wiki)

Use the help feature of wikispaces to set up student accounts. E-mail the help@wikispaces.com with your class list and you can set up accounts for your students without (or with, if you wish) e-mail accounts attached. Provide the help desk with a list of usernames, email addresses (if you have them - if you don't just leave them out), and passwords in the following format and they'll create the accounts for you.

 user1,email1@address.com,password1
 user2,email2@address.com,password2
 user3,email3@address.com,password3
A few words of caution from some "experienced" users: As with any type of collaborative technology, wikis do have their problems. Students have a certain freedom in deciding what to post as a comment. It is highly recommend that any teacher using wikis has the option selected to view EACH AND EVERY change made to the wiki. Also, parental permission is recommended for each student under the age of 13 before they be permitted to participate. Click on this link to download and print the NWLSD permission form: Internet publishing permission form.doc

Here is a sample rubric one of our teachers used with students the first time they used wikispaces to discuss Where the Red Fern Grows. You can view that rubric by clicking HERE: Wiki participation guidelines for students.doc
Read what others have to say about using wikis and blogs (and other 2.0 tools) in education by visiting School 2.0 Wiki.
Here are some great wikis about using wikis in education:
http://waystowiki.wikispaces.com
http://educators.pbworks.com
http://educationalwikis.wikispaces.com
And some examples by subject:
Biology http://mrruddle.wikispaces.com
Social Studies http://geocoach.wikispaces.com
History http://elliotthistory.wikispaces.com
History http://mrgsclassroom.wikispaces.com
Global Affairs http://wikiwac.wikispaces.com
Special Education http://learninglancer.wikispaces.com
Math http://makematheasy.wikispaces.com
AP Stats http://mrcstat.wikispaces.com
English http://simeoneng.wikispaces.com