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Wikis: Introduction Regina G. Chatel, Ph.D. Saint Joseph College West Hartford, CT 06117 May 15, 2008 Email: Personal Web Site: Workshop Agenda What’s a Wiki? Purpose of a Wiki Create A Wiki

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wikis introduction
Wikis: Introduction
  • Regina G. Chatel, Ph.D.
  • Saint Joseph College
  • West Hartford, CT 06117
  • May 15, 2008
  • Email:
  • Personal Web Site:

workshop agenda
Workshop Agenda
  • What’s a Wiki?
  • Purpose of a Wiki
  • Create A Wiki
  • Hosting Sites
  • Applications to our Classrooms
examples of wikis
Explore the following wikis:

PBL wiki

Take a few minutes to look at the wikis to the left. As you look at some of the wikis, discuss the following with your group:

What common features do you notice among the wikis?

Are there some features common to some, but not all, of the wikis?

What primary differences do you notice among the wikis?

Are there differences in the number and types of authors for the wikis?

Are there differences in the purposes of the wikis? How are the wikis being used? 

How might you categorize the different types of wikis?

Working with a partner, note your observations to share with us.


Examples of Wikis
Wikis in Plain English at
  • Wetpaint Wikis in Plain English at
how would i use a wiki in my classroom
Use these sites to see how educators are using

wikis in their classrooms:

How I use wikis. What do you do? from Cool Cat Teacher Blog (August 24, 2006)

Hardagon Podcast on Wikis in Educationfrom 2 Cents Worth (August 26, 2006)

View at least three of these sites to see content specific wikis in action:

AP World History Review

Bud Hunt's Wiki

High School Online Collaborative Writing Wiki

Holocaust Wiki Project

PlanetMath Wiki

Westwood School's Wiki

WikiVille: Project Global Village

Writing Frameworks Wiki

Now that you have investigated what a wiki is - we need to think about how we might be able to use it in our classroom.  As with any technology - there are pros and cons to it's use, so those differing viewpoints have been included in the list below.

Again - working with your partner, investigate how wikis are being used in classrooms.  As you view these spaces, you will want to consider what would work at your particular discipline.

After about 30 minutes - take a stretch break and meet with your partner to share your thoughts so far.


How would I use a wiki in my classroom?
using a wiki
Using a Wiki
  • In this step - you will work individually to edit and post your thoughts to the wiki created for this workshop.
  • The focus here is on the process of creating/editing a wiki.
  • We will be using wetpaint for you to create and post to a wiki.
  • First - use this planning page to think about what how you might use a wiki in your classroom.
  • Next - visit the wiki created for this workshop: Wiki Explorations Workshop at Just follow the steps posted on that Wiki to create your own wiki page.  Naturally, you should use your planning page to assist you!
      • Wetpaint Demo: Add a Page; Wetpaint Tutorials at
invitation to adventure
Invitation to Adventure!
  • Now is your chance to see if using a wiki is for you.  Feel free to start your very own classroom wiki if you would like.
  • Don’t forget to use this planning page to think about what how you might use a wiki in your classroom.
  • Send me the URL so that we can create a workshop list!
starting your own wiki
Here are some other free educational wiki hosting sites you might want to investigate:




PBwiki: Helping educators educate

PBwiki Documents for you to download and share with your class or during your presentation.

Starting your own wiki?
wikis can be used for
Wikis can be used for:
  • Any class project with a reference or encyclopedic format, including instructions, manuals, glossaries, and the like.
  • A class or group project with a bibliographic format. Students could gather websites related to a topic, then annotate, rank, and organize them.
  • Take collaborative notes.
  • Create an interactive course page.
  • Create an ongoing database for shareable lesson plans.
  • Student-created texts. Students build a guide to online security and privacy and are evaluated as a class. Every student has a stake in the project and will likely benefit from the instruction it contained. Students also become familiar with "textbook" English and its avoidance of personal-sounding prose.
  • A graduate student dossier.
  • Plan a conference.
  • Create a text/book.
  • Review classes and instructors :: Students at Brown University started a Course Advisor Wiki where students can collaboratively write and share reviews of courses they've taken.
  • Create a study guide :This example is of a student created study guide for a course in educational research.
  • Create a presentation.


what is a wiki further explorations
Use the following sites to further investigate wikis:

Wide Open Spaces: Wikis, Ready or Not by Brian Lamb in Educause Review

Seven Things You Should Know About Wikis from Educause Review

What is a Wiki (And How to Use One for Your Big Projects) by Tom Stafford and Matt Webb in O'Reilly Network

Wikipedia : Search for "wiki" to read the entries and links to information on wikis.

WikiHow : Search for "wiki creation" to discover how to create a wiki.

Education guru Kathy Schrock's musings on Wikipedia

It's A Wiki, Wiki World by Chris Taylor in Time Magazine

Wiki Controversy:

Not all sites that you visit will be wikis - they may instead be informational articles for you to digest.

Some guiding questions:

How is a wiki different than a traditional website?

What common features do you notice about wikis?


What is a wiki? Further Explorations