HOT TOPIC: Wikis
Volume 3, Issue 28 - April 1, 2007
"Just in case you hadn’t heard, Web 2.0 is taking place right before our eyes. While the first iteration of the web was text-based and, more recently, multimedial in its delivery of content, it was still (in the final analysis) was static by nature. Users who wanted to publish needed an advanced skill set and a collection of tools that made it all work. Those of us with the persistence to learn code and process carved their own niche online. Everyone else took their place in the virtual audience.
Web 2.0 changes all this, allowing anyone familiar with a word processing toolbar to publish and partner up online. And it’s not just text: blogs, wikis, podcasts are all part of the new open-source, interactive Web. Web content is now dynamic and everyone is a contributor!
While blogs tend to be monologues with feedback and podcasts offer the same in audio/video, wikis are a truly interactive tool. A wiki allows users to freely create and modify Web content right in your browser. You can even create multiple wiki pages and link between them and even link externally to other sites.
But this isn’t about having “your” wiki. A wiki is a communal enterprise. Once you get a wiki started you can invite others to visit, add and edit content that is posted. For some wiki sites a login name and password isn’t even required. For most wiki services you create a free account to login. This gives you some control over who you allow to see and edit your site.
This "open editing" concept has profound implications for Web 2.0. Allowing anyone to create and edit Web pages is a democratic use of the Web that changes the Internet from an archive of information to a facilitator of human collaboration. All bets are off as to where this will lead us, but Web 3.0 is sure to emerge from the results!
This week’s D12 offers more than a dozen free wiki hosting services that can allow you to interact with your school community and allow your students to work cooperatively with other students from around the world. I hope you’ll find one (or more!) services this week that will help you redefine your classroom as an interactive learning environment!"