What's a Wiki?

Defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, a wiki is "a type of web page designed so that it's content can be edited by anyone who accesses it, using a simple mark-up language." (Wiki enters Oxford English Dictionary, 2007)
  • A wiki is an online application that enables a group of people to collaboratively build a web site.
  • Wikis were created in 1994 by Ward Cunningham, an Oregon based computer programmer.
  • Wiki is a short form of the Hawaiian "wiki-wiki", which means quick. The name is derived from the airport shuttle buses in Honolulu.
  • The best known examle of a wiki is the famous online encyclopedia wikipedia . (Long, 2006)

Features of a Wiki:

  • Collaborative, dynamic, works in progress
  • Pages can be edited by users
  • Can be public or private
  • Discussion tabs- users can discuss each page
  • Easy to use- you do not have to be a technology expert
  • Page history allows you to see changes that have been made
  • Allows you to revert back to a previous version of the page
  • Search function- allows you search the wiki
  • Can create links to other other pages and to external web content
  • Notification feature allows the manager of the wiki to be alerted when changes have been made
  • Can incorporate sound, images, videos

What's the difference between a wiki and a blog?

Wikis in Plain English

(Lefever, 2007)

Want to know more?

Help For Teachers

Created by the hosting site wikispaces. Answers to Frequently asked questions, instructions and video tutorials that will help you get started.

Wiki Walk Through

Created by Teachers First. This site has all the basics on wikis and includes many practical ideas for the classroom.