• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.


CTJ Electronic Village

Page history last edited by Jose Antonio da Silva 9 years, 11 months ago


Wiki – A tool for collaborative projects

by José Antônio 



What does Wiki mean?

According to Wikipedia "Wiki" (English pronunciation/wiːkiː/) is a Hawaiian word for "fast". "Wiki" can be expanded as "What I Know Is," but this is a backronym


What are wikis?

  • Wikis are free, online writing spaces. Wikis use simple formatting rules, so you don't need to understand HTML or an HTML authoring tools, such as Microsoft FrontPage or Dreamweaver to contribute.
  • For some, wikis convey a highly collaborative view of composing and creativity. People who contribute to a wiki need to understand that their words may be deleted and changed by others. Wiki authors do not claim ownership of a text.
  • When writers contribute to a public wiki, their work could potentially be read by millions of readers.
  • Wikis give focus to the last draft, yet wikis provide a history. Each time the text is changed, a new version is saved. Anyone can go back later and see previous versions. This allows teachers and students to see the writing process in action.
  • Wikis are generally published online, though desktop and gated wikis are possible. Permissions can be set to limit the readers and writers who participate.
  • Textual authority is dialogical. Revision is privileged in the wiki. Each new reader can suddenly become a writer. The draft that matters is the last draft. Power and authority are given to the community rather than an individual or official staff.
  • Wikis are designed specifically as a writing space. They are not a presentation space nor a course management system. Wikis make it possible - and necessary - for writers to continually build upon, revise, and edit an emerging text.

Source:  For Teachers New to Wikis by  Mc Morgan, Matt Barton, Donna Hanak.    Read whole article here 


A wiki that almost everyone knows

Many people have used Wikipedia and probably have noticed that its pages can be edited by anyone. This is the principle behind wikis. Many people argue that it is Wikipedia’s weakness, however, it is, in fact, its strength. A website with multiple editors draws on collective collaboration and provides an ideal place for sharing knowledge. Another advantage is that instead of reading extra information in footnotes, you have hypertext allowing you to check information in other pages or websites at the click of a button.

When you open a Wikipedia page, you can see that on top of each page you will find tabs for editing, discussion, and history. If you happen to think  that any information in that article is not correct, you can edit it (to do this you need to be registered and logged in). The discussion tab will take you to possible debates on the reliability of the information featured on the article. The history tab allows you to see  a history of the last edits and allows reviewers to undo changes that might be incorrect or are intented to tamper with the reliability of the articles. Regarding the issue of tampering, Wikipedia has a team of reviewers that is in charge of checking for malicious editing. For more information about Wikipedia click  here.


Wikis for everyone

Wiki is simply a software that allows multiple editors. The possibility of having multiple pages and editors allied to its user friendliness, make wikis the perfect tool for education and businesses as well. Wikis for education are generally free. Most wiki providers have a paid version which includes more features.

Here is a list of some  of the most popular wiki providers;

Pbworks – Former Pbwiki. It is one of the most popular wikis. It provides a WYSIWYG editor, comment ,  and RSS support.

Wikispaces – It has great layout. It also provides WYSIWYG editor, subdomain support, RSS support, Blog import integrated with Blogger.com and Typepad, customized themes.

Wetpaint - WYSIWYG editor, Comment ratings, RSS support

For a more comprehensive list and analysis, click here


Why wikis?

If you are asking yourself why you might want to use a wiki, check this video to see what wikis can do for you. Just remmber that Pbwiki is now called Pbworks. So, the tutorials you will see still use the old name.




How can you create a wiki?


Wikis are very easy to create. They are free and you just have to set up an account. A free account offers a 2G of storage capacity. Watch this step by step tutorial on how to create one and set up some features.



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How to work with wikis?


If you are convinced that wikis can be a good idea for your class, watch this tutorial on how to add things to your wiki




Types of wikis

As I have pointed out, wikis are really popular with educators who use technology in their classes. Bellow you will find some examples of wikis used for different needs.

Interlinked pages

There are cases when teaching a course you may need to have different pages for different subjects or for different users. In the EVO BaW (Becoming a Webhead) course we use a wiki to post the course syllabus, to post participants’ information, and other things. This course is designed to teach language teachers how to use technology in class. It has up to 250 participants and everyone can edit the wiki pages.





Collaborative Projects

At Casa Thomas Jefferson, we enjoy working in projects with teachers from other schools and other countries. An online teacher and friend of us from Argentina (Carla Raguseo) designed a project to work with movies called Cartoon Festival and invited us to participate with our students. In this case we used a wiki to work on the films. Each teacher had a page on the wiki and this teacher created a page for  pair of students. They worked on the movie scripts and teachers provided color coded feedback.  They edited the scripts and finally made their movies using Dvolver movie maker. Finally they embedded their movies in their wiki pages. The projected has been reedited and other teachers around the world have joined the it. An article about the project has been written.





Wikis as Intranet

 One of the features of wikis that makes them so attractive is their flexibility. A wiki can be public or private. You can also make some pages or files private if you want to. Sometimes teachers in a school might feel the need to share resources. Other times a group of people may be involved in a project and need a place to collaborate and edit documents that are private. In this case, wikis can work as an intranet tool. At Casa Thomas Jefferson we decided to create a wiki for teachers to share resources. This wiki connects all teachers and only CTJ teachers can see, edit, or add content to it. Besides that we can also create pages within this wiki that only a specific group of teachers can access. At this page, we share teaching materials such as  IWB (Interactive Whiteboard) activities, files in different formats and Power Point Presentations.







Wikis for note taking

If you are involved in a project and need to work in group, one of the solutions is setting up a group wiki. In 2008 I took an E-tutoring course through the British Council and we had to work in groups of three to develop some tasks. We then created a wiki to post our contributions. Whenever we had to write something to hand out as  group work, we would jot down ideas in the wiki. For the final draft, one of us would weave ideas posted to the wiki and come up with the final post.

If your group is having a meeting, a member can open a page in the group wiki to take notes of issues being discussed. Later, after the meeting is over, group members can review the topics discussed during the event.







Wikis in the classroom

Even with a small group of students, wikis can be used. As you can see, wikis can be visually very rich. You can embed videos, slideshows, chat boxes, voice chat widgets. Besides that, you can also use the side bar to post links to other pages inside and outside your wiki,  visual dictionaries, listening exercises, grammar topics and other resources.

Since wikis allow you to have multiple editors, you can add your students as collaborators and create pages for each student or for pair of students. With very young learners, who do not have e-mails, pbworks allows you to create user name and password for each student. Once you have the wiki set up, you can use it to do written tasks that you would normally do on paper with the added benefit of having them comment on each other’s work. Besides that, you can also give them feedback on line and schedule sessions for correction.





Wikis as online handouts


In this conference,  we also had the opportunity to see wikis used as online handouts. Some  presenters  used wikis to prepare their presentations and  gave participants the url to their wikis, so that the ones interested in learning more would have access to tutorials, videos, links to sources, and so on. See some image quotations bellow.


Language in the Museum:  A Multisensory Cultural Tour -

Denise De Felice, Katy Cox, Lucia Santos




Powering up your classes with powerpoint

Lilian Marchesoni and Débora Cabral






Inserting images or videos


For  a tutorial on how to insert images or videos into your pbworks wiki, click here







Any questions, please send me an e-mail




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