Wikid Wide Walls

To work through this material in a self-paced workshop (hopefully with a partner or two), check out the Wiki Workshop which uses many of the resources mentioned below.

Standard Definition of a Wiki:

  • A wiki is a page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites. The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia is one of the best-known wikis.[2] Wikis are used in business to provide intranet and Knowledge Management systems. Ward Cunningham, the developer of the first wiki software, WikiWikiWeb, originally described it as "the simplest online database that could possibly work". Wikipedia
  • Or, check out Wikis in Plain English


Potential Constraints:

  • Available to anyone on the web immediately & often free for educators
  • Allow for various levels of editorial control
    • Ability to manage and safeguard student privacy and authorship
    • Anyone (or just members) can easily add to it or edit it
    • Increases individual accountability - each edit is logged
  • Creation, editing, etc. can be democratic
  • Great way to collaborate and share
  • Allows for distributed authorship
  • Multimodal - Can easily add text, audio, video and more
  • Can easily support Social Knowledge Building
  • Anytime/Anywhere - Students can work on pages at school or home (no lost pages). They can also work in groups that cross classes, buildings, or even wider.
  • Accountability and Assessment - Easy to tell who made which edits and when
  • Easy to track drafts of students writing using the history feature
  • Lends itself to non-linear and chunked informational writing
  • Reflection, Commenting, and Questioning - Available in the discussion tab
  • Can fit well with writers workshop
  • Anyone can see or add/delete (though the history tracks who did what)
  • Just as with traditional assignment, students can post fact, opinion, or fiction, but it is now publicly available
  • Can post inappropriate information
  • Passwords and Login can be forgotten
  • Some wikis don't have an undo button while editing a page
  • Becomes messy without tending - Need to be WikiGardeners
  • How do you grade collaborative writing?
  • May not offer the same degree of text and layout formatting control as teachers and students are used to with other tools

Low Floor, Wide Walls, & High Ceilings :

  • Technology needs to provide us with a low floor (an easy way to get started) and a high ceiling (lots of possibilities for taking things even further). There also needs to be wide walls, so that projects can be extended into other domains ... Mitch Resnick

Student Use:

Teacher Classroom Use:

Teacher Use:

Collections from Others:

Professional Development Ideas

Other samples to add later: