A Wiki Guide
by Jesse Thompson

This could be the beginnings of an online guide to starting your own wiki at your school or in your classroom.

A Success Story
I began using wikis a year and a half ago. My main goal was to figure out a way to maintain contact with the Spectrum students and students in advanced content courses. I needed a way to spread information to them, help them whenever it was needed, and to follow up wiki.JPGon classroom assignments.

The wiki solved all of these problems, but it turned into so much more!

In a very short time, the wiki turned in a valuable tool for collaboration. The focus of the instruction and the delivery models began to change. No longer were class lessons limited to one block of instruction time or lessons that ran overtime no longer had to wait until Monday for a follow up. Instead instruction was occurring through the week, at all times. Teaching was happening at 10pm on a Saturday night or Sunday morning after breakfast. The tradition of classes beginning and ending within the constraints of a block/period were gone.

I was in constant communication with my students and available to assess them with homework, projects, or when trying to figure out their latest required reading. Additionally, and maybe more importantly, students were working together as a community. They were sharing their thoughts and ideas and working together in the process. Exchanges involving assignments and questions were no longer limited to teacher-student relationship; everyone had access to the work of their peers (including students from other classes).

However, everything hasn’t been a utopian-like experience. We have had our share of problems and headaches, but we are learning from those stumbles. Below are some tips and problems we’ve encountered so far.

A couple things to think about before getting started:

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