Wikis are a collaboration tool used to work and compile information over the Internet. Many wikis are open to be edited by anyone with an Internet connection, which is both good and bad. It means that anyone in the world can contribute their knowledge to the topic but it also means that your crazy neighbor or your opinionated Uncle Bob can get in on the editing action too. Therefore what you read on a wiki needs to be taken with an air of suspicion because you can’t always see who created the edit to the wiki. There are also other options to wikis making them a more privatized form of information collaboration. Things like personal wikis and privacy settings can allow the wiki creator some control as to who can add edits to the page.
Using it in the ClassroomEdit
As a teacher there are a lot of ways I could use a wiki in the curriculum. My first thought is for the class to create their own wiki page on a topic we cover in class. Each student could be responsible for a particular aspect of the topic and they could work together to organize and present their research in a clear and professional manner. I think it would be a great activity to get the kids familiar with technology and familiar with working in a group. It can be really difficult to collaborate and agree in a group as large as a class so I think it would be a great lesson in compromise and communication.