Thursday, October 16, 2008

A wiki world

Wikis are everywhere these days. Not as many as there are blogs but still. What started with the ever-expanding Wikipedia in around 230 different languages has developed into many fascinating spin-offs.

Since wikis are all about sharing and collaborating they're particularly relevant for education. Teachers and developers can share teaching material, collaborate on course development or share learning objects via a wiki and the principle of Creative Commons. This way you are free to use the material as long as you give due credit to the author(s).
  • Wikiversity has course material and even entire courses in most subject areas and offers the chance to further develop what is there.
  • Wikimedia Commons is a massive database of photos, films, diagrams and drawings that can be used in course material.
  • WikiEducator is a forum for collaboration and project work.
  • Wikibooks is a free library of educational books that anyone can edit.

The list goes on and it's fascinating just browsing around to see what's in there.

There are also plenty wiki tools for you to write your own wiki. I've done my own basic first attempt on web 2.0 tools (in Swedish) and found it easy to set up and build without demanding any knowledge of strange symbols or codes. Last week I heard about a site that compares all the wiki tools available. It's called WikiMatrix and the list of wiki tools in there takes a bit of scrolling! Once again you feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a truck and wonder why the world needs 130 different wiki tools. Five or six would be tricky enough but this is ridiculous. We're drowning in choice.

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