The Common Craft guys say it best with this video. Watch it to see why a wiki is so useful and beneficial. As you watch, think about ways you could use this in a classroom setting.

Wikis can be used for:

  • Discussion boards---post a video, a picture, a question, a reading assignment, a web link, etc. then have students participate in a discussion thread. You can easily monitor who participates and how often. Since many schools do not allow blog access, this is a great alternative!

  • Publication opportunities--students can create their own pages and publish work for private or public viewing. You can set the space up so just you, just the students, or the whole world can view their work! Students can also customize their pages with pictures and graphics. Wikis have been referred to as a "safe" myspace, so students eat it up!

  • Classroom Notes and Outlines--A wiki could be a fantastic resource for students to store notes and outlines from the textbook or class. Students could use inspiration to take notes on various topics in the textbook, and then they can post them to a wiki to be used either just for that class or for eternity! The possibilities are endless and extremely helpful for studying.

  • Group collaboration--A wiki can give students the opportunity to work on a group document from home and in class. You can easily monitor who contributes and watch the project take shape.

  • Online literary circles--as with discussion boards and group collaboration, this is a great way to facilitate a discussion about a novel from home.

  • Peer revision--Students can post drafts of written work, comment, edit, revise and respond via discussion board.

  • Electronic portfolios--Create a class homepage and a page for every student in the class to upload their written assignments. Combine this with all of these activities and students can create, collect and maintain quite a portfolio to show learning and progress throughout the school year.

  • Projects--have students create a wiki for a class project at the end of a unit. For example, students could create a wiki page of a famous author or character in a book (similar to a "myspace" format). Here is an example of a project I did with students. I called it the "NeoBook".

  • Research--what a refreshing twist to the traditional research "paper"! Students can now create their own website on virtually any topic imaginable!!

The list is endless of what you can do with a wiki. Where there is collaboration, there are wikis!

An example of a school who uses wikis to collaborate across the department:
A132 English Wiki

If you use Moodle, there is a wiki associated with it. It does not have all the bells and whistles of the above sites, but it also doesn't have the ads.
Here is a wiki I created for our committee meetings for our Strategic Planning:
Strategic Plan Wiki