A wiki (IPA: [ˈwɪ.kiː] or [ˈwiː.kiː]) is a website that allows visitors to add, remove, and edit content. A collaborative technology for organizing information on Web sites, the first wiki (WikiWikiWeb) was developed by Ward Cunningham in the mid-1990s. Wikis allow for linking among any number of pages. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for mass collaborative authoring. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, is one of the best known wikis. -From Wikipedia
What this means for you, is that you can publish a web page in a matter of minutes, for free, from any computer with Internet access, without installing any software. This web page could develop into a class web site, or an on-line unit. Since you can allow multiple authors to edit a wiki, it could be a collaboration tool for your book study group, cadre, or department. Your students could easily publish individual wikis or collaborate on a class wiki. Wikis even include RSS feeds for subscribing so that users can receive updates automatically.
Vicki Davis, queen of the wikis, published this great video, Wiki Collaboration in the Classroom for the K12 On-line Conference. (You can right click on the video title and choose to download it to your computer, as opposed to streaming it by clicking the play button on the embedded player.)
- Thousand and One Flat World Tales Project
- Flat Planet Environmental Project: a collaborative project between high school students in Canada and the United Kingdom
- Hannahlee: 5th grade bookstudy
- Wikiplaces: student published, A to Z account of life in Hafford, Canada
- The Good the Bad and the Ugly of the Internet: a Wiki where educators can collaborate and share information about the web and how to best educate our students, parents and communities.
- Body Systems Wiki: 7th grade science class at Smithfield Middle School in North Richland Hills Texas
- Willard’s Textbook Committee Wiki: a newly hatched virtual meeting and collaboration tool
- Technology Integration Academy Unit: an example of what the Willard teachers will be publishing upon completion of all the TIA workshops this summer.
There are several wiki services available. I would recommend Wikispaces. They are in the process of giving away 100,000 free Plus Accounts (features that normally cost $50/year, such as no advertising) for K-12 teachers. To learn more, register for my summer Wiki workshop on July 30th.