Successful Uses of Wikis...

Big IDEA » Is a specialized wiki the way to go? So this is my thought about wikis: maybe they need to be really specific to a small set of people to be successful. (Wikipedia, then, would be an exception.) This kind of jibes with some ideas I've been playing with a wiki cheat sheet for linux commands I can never remember, one as something of a learning journal but only for a single topic or theme in a class, one for group decision making. In short, what you might call a hit-and-run wiki, one that lives only for a short time to serve some specific purpose and then possibly dies. This wiki doesn't want to be big.

Todd Slater states what I think to be the best method for successful use of wikis. There has to be a reason to use one... I have been working with one of my 5th grade teachers who runs our after school publishing class. Last year we had students write their pieces in Word, save them in a directory on the server and then review them and make changes... This process was in a word unsuccessful.

After spending some time looking at things like MediaWiki and Instiki, we have decided to use a Wiki for students to post their stories. Our teacher, Mrs. Gould will create a Wiki page with sub pages for each of the monthly articles. Students will write and edit their stories and receive feedback via the Talk feature. Once the final drafts are published, they will also be printed as a traditional newsletter. Once published, this particular Wiki will stop being active and we will move on to the next month's issue.