external image wikispaces.png

Communication and collaboration online falls under two main categories: asynchronous (at a different time) and synchronous (at the same time) communication technologies. Alongside these two categories are other key aspects that need to be taken into consideration when using online collaborative environments:
  • location of participants - same place or different;
  • number of participants - one-to-one, one-to many or group discussion;
  • publishing to public or private audience.

Wikis fall under the category of asynchronous collaborative online tools where participants can use a shared online area to create, share and disseminate their knowledge to a wider audience.

What is a wiki?
'Wiki' is Hawaiian for quick in that they are designed to enable quick and easy content:
  • generation;
  • collaboration;
  • distribution.

'Wikis are collaborative websites now commonly used as a way for multiple users to create content or share knowledge online. Wikis can be publicly available website that allow anyone to edit their content, such as Wikipedia, the web-based encyclopedia. Alternatively, they can be set up with smaller learning and workplace environments, to allow a specific set of contributors to pool their knowledge' (Donelan, 2010: 85).

Why use a wiki?
Wikis enable knowledge management by:
  • capturing knowledge from those who have it;
  • converting knowledge into an explicitly available format;
  • connecting those who want knowledge with those who have it;
  • linking knowledge to knowledge;
  • converting individual knowledge to communal knowledge.

Some reasons to use wikis in education can be read at Sharon Tonner's blog - Tecnoteach
A short visual representation of why to use a wiki:

Examples of using wikis in Education:

How To Create A Wiki: