Wednesday, June 8, 2011


A wiki is a web page that can be viewed and modified by anybody with a web browser and access to internet. This means that any visitor to the wiki change its content if they desire. Wikis permit asynchronous communication and group collaboration across the Internet. They also provide usesrs with author and editor privileges.Additionaly they allow to incorporate sounds, movies, and pictures, they may prove to be a simple tool to create multimedia presentations and simple digital stories. Wikis are being used for a wide collaborative activities.
The word Wiki is not an acronym but according to Ward Cunningham: a "Hawaiian word" used as an alternative substitute for quick, and to avoid naming it, the quick-web, it turned out to Wiki.
Wikis have found many scneries but one of the most popular ones are in the Education field. Because wikis are on the Internet, students can access and participate from any location and therefore engage in collaborative activities which otherwise, might not be possible without a classroom enviroment. Wiki's have the capacity of showing the students the evolution of thoughts processes as they interact with the site and its content. They have also been found to be extremly useful in expanding community involvement and interest in their subjects and activities.

What is a Wiki and how does it work?
Technically a Wiki is a combination of a CGI script and a collection of plain text files thet allows user  to create web pages inmediately. The only requirement is to have an Internet connection and a web browser. As you click on a wiki page you have two important buttons to keep in mind The Edit button and the Save button. All you have to do is click on the Edit button and modify what ever you need, then you have to be sure to click on the Save button so the information you have incorporated is incorporated into the text and it is sent to the wiki server and Voila! it is ready. Every time you  or anybody included in the group need to insert some new information in the page, all they have to do is repeat the proccess. This can be done as many times as it is required since wikis offer a powerful and yet flexible collaborative communication tool for developing content. Consequently  wikis grow and evolve as people add material to the site.
Finally it can be said that Wikis offer endless possibilities in  any field but specialy in the Education field, as  they represent a rainbow of posibilities which enhance the teaching and learning experience.
From my teaching point of view I have to say that I am thrilled by all the possible things that can be acomplished by the use of wikis in the educational field. The fact that they allow not only me but my students visit the page and contribute and collaborate in the the creation of any chosen project, just by clicking a button represent a great advantage . Additionaly they provide the alternative of engaging in an out the class activity, which is an additional motivating highlight.


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