Thing #15

What in the World is a Wiki?

A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and perhaps the most well known of these knowledge sharing tools, but with benefits that wikis provide, the use and popularity of these tools is exploding.

Some of the benefits that make the use of wikis so attractive are:

  • Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
  • Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
  • Earlier versions of a page can be rolled back and viewed when needed.
  • Users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content. In most cases simple syntax structure is used.
As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, schools, libraries, and individuals all over the country have started to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, professional conference wikis and even best practices wikis.
Discovery Resources:
Use these resources to learn more about wikis:

Wikis in Plain English

What is a wiki? - from

Discovery Exercise:
1. Take a look at some ways libraries and schools are using wikis.

2. Sandbox is a term that wikis often use to describe the area of the website that should be used for pure play and exploration. Add or edit an entry in the APSU 23 Things Sandbox wiki. Select some of your favorite curriculum ideas from your own blog, copy and paste them into the appropriate page in the 23 Things Sandbox wiki. Add pictures, change the font size, color, format....whatever. This is your chance to experiment.
3. Create a post in your blog about the experience. How might you use a wiki? What did you find interesting about the wiki concept?
Challenge (optional):

Create your own wiki! There are many sites where you can create a free wiki of your own. Here are three that offer ad-free wikis to educators.


Choose a topic, create your wiki, add information, then post the link and let us know what you are doing.

[Note: Please remember to include THING# in your heading posts.]