Is a Wiki Really Useful in Education?


The term “wiki” comes from the Traditional word meaning “quick”. In internet culture, the term is associated with the technology that creates collaborative websites, the most known being Wikipedia.

The creator of the wiki, Keep Cunningham, says that she wanted people who wouldn’t normally publish their writing to find it comfortable doing so. People who have something to say often can’t find the context to put it on paper. By allowing users to start and modify any page in a website is issuing, in the sense that it encourages the equal, democratic use of the web and promotes content creation by regular people.

Beginning from the idea that knowledge should be available for anyone, Wikipedia found an opportunity and went with it — soon becoming one of the most accessed websites and most popular sources of reference. It is now obvious that web articles that you intend to have to pay to see haven’t any value — although you might be happy to pay to see them yourself, you can’t url to them — they can be shared, so they really don’t make it to the focus, they don’t go viral, they can be discussed.

Some of the advantages of the wiki are that, although its nature is open, not everyone has the same level of access and some rules are applied at all times. In order to use the wiki, there is no need for additional software, nor is there a need for specialized courses in learning how to manage a wiki. It’s also good to know that technical problems are minimal.

Wikipedia was launched in 2001, as an alternative to the traditional encyclopedia. First of all, Wikipedia is free to everyone and it can be edited by anyone. Unknown users can add, eliminate or modify content according to their own knowledge. The costs are minimal — unlike paper encyclopedias — and information can be updated instantly. You can start a webpage and write whatever you decide and want in it. Anyone else can come along and make absolutely any changes to it that she wants to. On the freshly created page, you can url to any other pages, and, of course, they can link back.

Being open to such a large number of readers and writers, it is not easy to keep all information completely accurate. You can see who added what to a certain article; you can discuss the process of writing this content. The point of view may sometimes be very subjective, this content may sometimes share only the main information. Since errors may still occur, Wikipedia is rarely accepted as an educational source. Sometimes, students can’t tell which article is reliable and which isn’t, and they quote Wikipedia like it’s completely accurate. Nevertheless, it covers an immensity of fields, from history to pop culture, from scientists to starlets and so on. There are pages in virtually any language. The articles are linked together, cross referenced, keeping the reader one click away from even more information.

The development of Wikipedia was spectacular. By the end of the year when it was launched, it had around 20. 000 articles. In 2007, it had more than 2 million articles, becoming the largest encyclopedia to have ever existed. In 2004, it was already available for mobile phone usage, thus growing even outside its original basis. bio

When it comes to other uses for the wiki, people often get confused; mostly because they don’t realize how easy it is for this structure to be used. At a smaller scale, the wiki is a version of the Internet, with things that are, at first view, randomly placed. But a wiki on a certain project has every reason to be well organized. While numerous people add to a webpage, they may also use the “discussion” section of any page to comment and debate their work happening. Leading the way or an endorsed person may try looking in the “history” section to see every single version of the page, as it has been edited by users. Can teachers take advantage of this tool?

The wiki is easy to use, open to the integration of multimedia content. The teacher can evaluate the quality and quantity of the students’ work. The wiki platform provides an audience to the learning process (the educators and various students) and a collaborative working space, where the students can create and share content. In the educational field, wikis can be used as personal portfolios or for the coordination of research. They make it safer to follow a group project; they allow a Frequently asked questions system for the students; they make a good debate and discussion environment.

Like most other blogging platforms. 0 tool, the wiki has the appearance of being earmarked for entertainment or, at the most, for gathering random information. At a deeper incursion, we find that it has true educational value and can be used in schools as well as in company trainings.

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