Sunday, August 5, 2007

What is a wiki?

In the words of its creator, a wiki is "the simplest online database that could possibly work." Prior to this class, the only "wiki" I was familiar with was Wikipedia. I had seen displays in the school library warning against the validity of some Wikipedia entries. While caution is needed, Wikipedia is still a valid resource for internet research. It should not be the only source a student uses and the information found on Wikipedia should be verified against another more reputable source before being included in a paper, project, or presentation.

The concept of anyone being able to add or modify content on a website is appealing. It would solve the issue of the lack of a platform for online discussions. At my school, the faculty has a shared drive where we can save files for our colleagues to access. The downside of this capability is that it can only be accessed on the school/county server. What happens when a teacher is at home and needs a file from the shared drive? A wiki would solve this problem. Permissions would have to be set in order to keep students from viewing and editing files, if possible.

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