On this page you may go to: Introduction , Related links, Ripe environment, Potential pitfalls, Nitty gritty details



Introduction

Wikis are simply web sites that are created and edited collaboratively within a community of users who share interest around a specific topic. Wikispaces is one of a number of free wiki applications. See Related links below for other wiki options as well as a link to a WikiMatrix for comparison purposes.

For a basic introduction to the wiki concept, watch this instructional video created by Common Craft:


Related links


Ripe environment

Do one or more of the following preconditions describe your school culture and/or your school-based mentoring program? If so, then a wiki may be an appropriate intervention:
  • Mentoring team needs an easy way to upload, archive, and share documents and other resources to support their program.
  • Mentoring team wants to publish news and announcements about their program, to essentially create a quick-and-dirty home page.
  • Mentors and novices desire a way to share resources pertaining to a specific content area, pedagogical concern, or classroom management issue.
  • Staff development activities leave participants with a need to discuss and extend new learning.

Potential pitfalls

  • Wiki applications may be blocked by Internet filters. To circumvent this problem, Wikispaces offers a more palatable "private label" version; check to see if it is accessible on your campus.
  • Depending on the privacy setting you select ("public," "protected," or "private"), your wiki content is subject to edits by multiple users.
  • Users may require prior training on what to contribute to a wiki and how to edit a wiki.

Wikispaces: the nitty gritty details

  • Installation: none required (web-based)
  • Registration: simple and free, with option to create a member profile
  • Design/user interface: minimal options for customizing visual look and feel of pages
  • Tech support: help index, FAQ for teachers, membership forum, video tutorials, and tech support via email
  • Cost: public and protected spaces are free but include ads, private spaces cost $5 per month, educational spaces are free but must be certified
  • Scalability: unlimited members per space and pages per space, with 2gb of file storage (or 5gb for paid spaces)
  • Reliability: visual editor works best with Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers, other browsers work to varying degrees
  • Usability: exceedingly user-friendly
  • User features: secure login with privacy settings, discussion boards, file uploading, link sharing, page histories, notification via email or RSS, and visual editor (WYSIWYG)forums