Target Audience - Who? Assumptions, etc., Hardware, software, bandwidth requirements, &c. Elder Ballard's talk as motivation Pres. Uchtdorf's talk / blog Sharing, gathering, community Guidelines and Helps for Latter-day Saints Participating in Online Conversations About the Church
Wiki-The Teamwork Tool
Have you ever been involved with a project that you just couldn't accomplish alone, and it took a group of people all working together to make it happen? Our prophet, Thomas S. Monson states: "Teamwork eliminates the weakness of a person standing alone and substitutes, therefore, the strength of workers serving together." (New Era, 1985, November). No one can question the sheer teamwork that drove the ranks of the two thousand stripling warriors forward. Could they have accomplished freeing their families without each individual adding strength and working for the good of the whole? No one can doubt the amazing teamwork that occurred as rescue workers at the World Trade Center Twin Towers fought to save lives through a collaborative effort. We may not be faced with as dramatic situations as the individuals involved in these events, but the idea of teamwork remains...we must all pull together to bring about a better, more Christ-centered world. Wikis are one way to pull together as a team to accomplish that goal. In his landmark address at the 2007 BYU-Hawaii Graduation, Elder Ballard states: "This is yourworld (italics added), the world of the future with inventions undreamed of that will come in your lifetime as they have in mine. How will you use these marvelous inventions? More to the point, how will you use them to further the work of the Lord?" A wiki is one of those "marvelous inventions" of this day. Just how to use this incredible tool will unfold in the next several pages of this chapter.
A wiki is a collaborative tool that Wiki
A Wiki allows participants to work together to easily create online documents that can be edited by all. Here are some ideas for how to use the Wiki tool in your bSpace site:
Collaborative Summaries: Individual students or groups can work together in the Wiki tool to summarize specific class readings, activities, research, and/or discussions. Each student or group can be responsible for a specific topic, forming a comprehensive summary when put together. This is a great way to synthesize information, reinforce class material, and encourage analysis.
From a Gospel perspective, we might think of wikis as possessing the same qualities of the scripture,that speaks of the dispensations from Adam to the present, all adding something to the collaborative whole: "Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensation...their majesty and glory...giving line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come..." We, likewise, can use this tool to bring forth important concepts, ideas, products that can move society forward in gaining truth, by allowing joint authorship, adding here a little, there a little, until our message or idea, or lesson has collected gems of truth along the way from many sources.
Every day, the unsuspecting internet user is bombarded with a flood of new technologies, dazzling the potential customer with "free" tools to make life easier and more effecient (the "cheaper, better, faster" idea)! It is true that many of these tools can do just that, make our lives, and the lives of others, richer and more satisfying, not to mention more efficient. However, if finding just the right tool for your task amidst this deluge of choices is presenting an overwhelming dilema for you, this chapter can help. The searching and sifting have been done for you, and now the brightest and best options, their definitions, and their pros and cons, are set before you.
What exactly is a wiki?
What exactly is a wiki? According to Wikipedia, a Wiki is "a website that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows anyone to edit the content." Note the fact that anyone can edit the content. Another characteristic of a wiki is that it provides a running "history" or log tracking edits. The date, time and author of each change is shown. A "Discussion Tab" is also usually included in a wiki where various authors may discuss issues about the article without actually executing any edits. The name "wiki" is based on the Hawaiian term "wiki wiki", meaning "quick" or "super-fast." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page Wikis are quick because the processes of reading and editing are combined. for the most part, wikis are in a constant state of flux.work great as shared online sketchpads or as spaces for brainstorming.
"A Wiki can be thought of as a combination of a Web site and a Word document. At its simplest, it can be read just like any other web site, with no access privileges necessary, but its real power lies in the fact that groups can collaboratively work on the content of the site using nothing but a standard web browser. Beyond this ease of editing, the second powerful element of a wiki is its ability to keep track of the history of a document as it is revised. Since users come to one place to edit, the need to keep track of Word files and compile edits is eliminated. Each time a person makes changes to a wiki page, that revision of the content becomes the current version, and an older version is stored. Versions of the document can be compared side-by-side, and edits can be "rolled back" if necessary.
The Wiki is gaining traction in education, as an ideal tool for the increasing amount of collaborative work done by both students and teachers (excerpt from my contribution to a Business 2.0 article --Stewart.mader 11:35, 14 Dec 2005 (PST))."
In 1999, the World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee looked back on the previous decade and lamented: “I wanted the Web to be what I call an interactive space where everybody can edit. And I started saying ‘interactive,’ and then I read in the media that the Web was great because it was ‘interactive,’ meaning you could click. This was not what I meant by interactivity.” http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0452.pdf Clearly, wikis embody Berners-Lee's vision of the 'interactivity' of the World Wide Web.
A phrase that would capture the essence of a wiki would be "collaborative authorship". This collaboration necessitates negotiation, elegant or inept, depending upon the author. Some suggestions to consider to achieve "elegance" in editing a wiki would be: (1)Be well-prepared in knowing your subject, (2)Know your audience, its interests and priorities, (3)Create a shared "zone" of bargaining, something you can both agree upon, (4)Leave unrestrained emotions out of the equation, (5)Set forth compromise proposals to move the negotiation forward, (6)Be willing to share information; it is another good faith effort that will be rewarded, (7)Be sure to add a dash of humility and incorporate concessions...they are the "exchange currency" of negotiation. (
The use of wikis has grown exponentially in the last few years, becoming a favorite collaboration tool for educators, business professionals, and increasingly, any individual who is interested in connecting and sharing. This collaborative tool is characterized by such technological innovations as spreadsheet functionality, multimedia capability, multiple authoring etc. It has been used for such tasks as collecting conventional wisdom, conducting social experiments, authoring massive online encyclopaedias, sharing classroom content, sharing and perfecting documents across continents and much more. A wiki as a collaborative tool, can be a great boon to any cooperative endeavor in sharing that organization's content both internally and externally. (http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/wiki.jsp)
According to the book, Wikinomics, the authors observe that, “deep changes in technology, demographics, business, the economy and the world” have ushered in a “new age where people participate” like never before (2008, p. 10). Moreover, they contend that we have already reached a “tipping point where new forms of mass collaboration are changing how goods and services are invented, produced, marketed, and distributed on a global basis.” This collaborative landscape has produced a, “quantum increase in the world’s ability to conceive, create, compute, and connect. We are only beginning to comprehend the consequences.”(Libert, 2007, p.1). Wikis can play a dramatic role in this shift to mass collaboration, and the ensuing beneficial increase in knowledge distribution and production worldwide.
How did wikis come into being?
The first forerunner of the wiki was Vannevar Bush's microfilm hypertext system named, "memex" (1945). Next came "Zog" (1972) an early collaborative hypertext database, and finally, Apple's hypertext system, HyperCard (1987).
The creation of the first wiki website became possible as result of the emergence of the WorldWideWeb in 1991, with its hypertext structure, and web browsers such as Netscape Navigator (1994). Howard G. "Ward" Cunningham, American computer programmer and pioneer in Extreme Programming, produced this amazing tool in early 1995, to facilitate communication between software developers,and invited a select group of programmers to be part of this experiment. Cunningham named it the "WikiWikiWeb". The Wiki was such a great success, that other computer programmers immediately began to try to imitate this unique tool. These "wiki clones" were first used by software developers, and use largely remained within these specialized groups. Soon, however, the WikiWikiWeb began to unfold with additional features which attracted a growing body of users. Wikis began to filter into the consciousness of the general public with the emergence of the free content encyclopedia, Wikipedia in 2001. From that point forward, the number of wiki websites and wiki engines exploded, and now thousands can be found on the web.
What are some of the common uses of wikis?
Probably the most well-known use of a wiki is Wikipedia, the huge online, collaborative encyclopedia. Wikipedia is a source of scholastic information for students that is constantly being updated and corrected by hundreds of thousands of viewer/authors. Not only does Wikipedia share in the concept of stringent peer review by numerous authors, it also provides institutional oversite. The founders of Wikipedia offer a document named, "The Five Pillars of Wikipedia" which forms the foundational expectations upon which this forum is based. These official policies and guidelines or "five pillars" are paraphrased as follows: Wikipedia is encyclopedic; all articles must follow the "no original research policy" and strive for verifiable accuracy. Unreferenced material may be removed. Wikipedia is not a forum for personal opinions, nor a soapbox or an advertising platform or a platform to promote oneself. All articles that represent a divergence from these guidelines should should contribute content to Wikimedia sister projects (see:
Wikipedia has a neutral point of view, and advocates no single point of view. Sometimes this requires representing multiple points of view, presenting each point of view accurately, providing context for any given point of view, and presenting no one point of view as "the truth" or "the best view." It means citing verifiable, authoritative sources whenever possible, especially on controversial topics.
Wikipedia is free content that anyone may edit. All text is available under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) and may be distributed or linked accordingly. No copyright infringement is allowed.
Wikipedia has a code of conduct which includes: Respectfulness, friendliness,civility, avoidance of conflict, acting in good faith, openness, assumption of good faith on the part of others, avoiding conflicts of interest, personal attacks or sweeping generalizations. Find consensus, avoid edit wars, follow the three-revert rule.
Wikipedia encourages boldness in editing, moving, and modifying articles. Perfection, though desirable, is not required. Although mistakes can happen, all prior versions of articles are kept, so there is no way to accidentally damage Wikipedia or irretrievably destroy content. Remember: one's entries will be preserved for posterity.
These "pillars" might serve as an exemplary template for anyone creating their own wiki.
Wikis in general, encourage the creation of an academically worthy, verifiable product by virtue of the very foundational mechanism, (the self-correcting, stringent peer review) upon which they are built. They keep participants constantly "on their toes" as they are constantly in a state of either peer "reviewer" or "reviewee". Adding to or correcting someone's story, places important responsibility on the participant, one which is to be taken seriously, in light of the persistent peer review.
Wikipedia not only incorporates this peer review, but also has an additional outlet to safeguard scholastic focus by providing "sister projects" to channel contributors' "off topic" excitement and energy productively (http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sister_projects). These outlets for projects that fall outside of the scope of the main Wikipedia concept include: media, news, a dictionary, quotes, text books, novels, a repository for full sources, a site (Wikieducator) devoted to producing open content, Wikiversity and, of all things, Wiki Travel! Creating alternate channels for ideas not strictly aligning with encyclopedic form is a critical piece of the puzzle for keeping entries and corrections on task! This concept of creating off topic alternatives for students might prove useful for educators as they may wish to create both a formal and an additional informal forum to augment the students' online experience. One of the very positive outcomes of using wikis with students, is the ongoing nature of a wiki: "(a wiki)...can be used for multiple semesters of a course, allowing students to see what others have done, and to add their contributions to something larger than what would otherwise be an isolated, one semester experience"(http://www.scienceofspectroscopy.info/edit/index.php?title=Using_wiki_in_education).
Additionally, Wikis have a great potential for harnessing the "wisdom of crowds" and could be a great platform for the beginnings of creating AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) in the form of a massively intelligent computer. (place URL here to reference article on AGI)
As there are so many ways to use Wikis for educational purposes, it might be helpful to peruse a site that is a composite of several educational wiki sites with their links. It is: http://educationalwikis.com/Examples+of+educational +wikis. One of the best example sites is: Asalaamualaikum-a wiki that focuses on Pakistan for ages 10 & 11. It is a great example of student involvement. One of the pages advertised obtaining a 'voki'-a customized voice and a character-avatar, to participate (www.voki.com).
How can wikis be used in Higher Education?
Group projects: Students work together in one place to research, outline, draft, and edit projects within the wiki Assignments: Post homework, course materials, study guides, and more. Resource Collections: Organize articles, websites, videos, and other resources for students Peer Review: Post questions for student brainstorming, or have students post papers for peer feedback Group FAQ: Students and/or teachers post and respond to questions on a given topic Parent Involvement: Give parents a chance to be a part of the classroom and stay up to date on classroom news and events Online Newspaper: Create a student-published online newspaper http://wikisineducation.wetpaint.com/page/Higher-Ed+Wikis This site also lists a number of URLs to wikis that pertain to Higher Education and an explanation of the wiki and how to use it. Very worth a review.
"Wikis are structurally capable of handling conversation, but it is not their forte; instead, wikis excel at collaboration. They are intended to maintain a series of unique documents as their content evolves and to provide an organic means of organizing that information." http://www.informationweek.com/news/management/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=167600331
"Thanks to the Web, and networks in general, the cost of publishing and sharing information has diminished substantially — which makes wikis the killer app for corporations. Prior to wikis, an expensive enterprise application would have been required for sophisticated information management. But because most wikis are based on open-source code, they're free for companies who opt for an open-source distribution, or relatively cheap for companies willing to pay for their implementation and support.
Wikis are designed to facilitate the exchange of information within and between teams. Content in a wiki can be updated without any real lag, without any real administrative effort, and without the need for distribution — users/contributors (with wikis, they're one and the same) simply visit and update a common Web site.
Wikis can centralize all types of corporate data, such as spreadsheets, Word documents, PowerPoint slides, PDFs — anything that can be displayed in a browser. They can also embed standard communications media such as e-mail and IM. Heavy-duty PHP-based wikis can directly interface with company databases to bring in audio and picture files. A wiki's functionality is limited only by the programming skills of the person who implements it (http://www.informationweek.com/news/management/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=3UUDZ4LT0ZWG0QSNDLOSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID).
Teamwork is facilitated by wikis. Ease of use, efficiency, and user-friendliness are all commendable qualities of wikis. With wikis, every voice is heard, every contribution is seen. True democratization of information occurs with the use of wikis. Information to the right people and promptly, (in real time!) is the huge advantage of wikis for the business world.
To sum up, some of the most compelling reasons for using a wiki in business are: free or low cost, customizable features, easily accessible in regard to time and location (anytime, anywhere), readily accessible (knowledge isn’t buried in e-mails, file systems, hard drives etc.), easy to learn and use (intuitive), “transparent”, (wikis used as an “intranet” allow people to stay in sync with projects throughout a group or company, all having a voice; cross-functional transparency is an important part of knowledge building between various organizations), dynamic, current, safe and evolving (constant editing keeps content current, and safe from loss as all versions are saved), and finally, historical (shows an unbroken chain of ideas and information from version to version thus becoming a repository of knowledge).
In certain instances, it is helpful to impose "permissions" or control and limit access to different spaces and pages. For information on "permissions" go to: (http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/wiki.jsp#whatssogreat) The following site is an excellent white paper devoted to explicating the business uses, advantages, disadvantages of wikis. http://joevans.pbwiki.com/Wikis
PERSONAL/RELIGIOUS/EXEMPLARY USES OF WIKIS:
How can one best use wikis to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ? There are several ways. Edit or create articles for Wikipedia or MormonWiki.com. Make sure that the information that exists on those sites represents a doctrinally sound LDS point of view. Include links within these wikis to great LDS UTube videos. Sign up to be a part of the "More Good Foundation" a exemplary LDS organization that endeavors to bring out "More Good" on the Internet. They are looking for individuals to be writers, editors, researchers, artists, designers, programmers to promote the truth on the Internet. (https://www.moregoodfoundation.org/ways_to_share_gospel_online). Seminary teachers (or Gospel Doctrine Teachers in progressive wards) can create a wiki for their students to participate in to share Gospel insights and testimonies. One might well use a wiki to do family history work, by creating a "biowiki" about an ancestor. An invitation could then be extended to family members and colleagues, to come to the wiki and add knowledge, personal observations, and experiences about that person. (lelutes) Another idea is to visit the following site and keep updated on current trends in technology (including wikis)for LDS people: http://ldsmediatalk.com/category/future-of-the-web/. A wiki might be the perfect tool to help keep families in touch with each other when long miles separate them. For example, one family could begin a story, or an account of their activities and insights on a given week, and each of the other families could add their own information to it. It could be an ongoing wiki conversation throughout the year! Wouldn't it be fun to begin a wiki that would form the basis of writing a hymn? Each author could begin a verse, and have the collaborative authors add another line, or snippet of a melody! The only limit to the use of wikis is the limit of your imagination and creativity!
A particularly exemplary way to use wikis to connect the human family would be to start or participate in a global wiki. How can wikis be used to connect students globally? Group projects: Students from around the world can create a site together Cultural Exchanges: Students can post pictures and stories of places where they live Point of View: Students engage in different points of view on a given topic Peer Review: Post questions for student brainstorming, or have students post papers for peer feedback Group FAQ: Students and/or teachers post and respond to questions on a given topic http://wikisineducation.wetpaint.com/page/Global+Connections+Wikis
HOW DO I USE IT: (SCREENSHOTS WITH DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS; SCREENCASTS)The following is a website devoted to explaning how to use a wiki. It is generalizable to most other wikis. It is a great foundational tutorial for wikis.
WHERE ARE THE FREE ONLINE TUTORIALS: Here is a great tutorial about how to use a wiki...check it out!
In considering using a wiki, link to the following website that compares the advantages and disadvantages of the top thirty wiki-hosting sites. http://www.wikimatrix.org/
POSSIBLE DISADVANTAGES/SAFETY ISSUES:
There’s a very common reaction that newcomers express when first introduced to wikis: “That looks promising, but it can’t work for me.” Their objection to wikis is nearly universal: “If anybodycan edit my text, then anybody can ruin my text.” Human nature being what it is, to allow free access to hard-earned contentis to indulge open-source utopianism beyond reason. This concern is largely misplaced.Think of an open wiki space as a home that leaves its front door unlocked but doesn’t get robbed because the neighbors are all out on their front steps gossiping, keeping a friendly eye on the street, and never missing a thing. This ethic is at the heart of “SoftSecurity,” which relies on the community, rather than technology, to enforce order. As described on the Meatball Wiki: “SoftSecurity is like water. It bends under attack, only to rush in from all directions to fill the gaps.
See combined page on Safety issue.
PBwiki - create your personal wiki in less than 30 seconds with this easy online service. Special solutions for educational, business and personal use.
OttoWiki - build up your personal wiki to track projects or collaborate on documents online.
WikiSpaces - create simple web pages that groups, friends, and families can edit together.
WetPaint - build up public and private wikis and join one of the largest wiki communities.
ServerSideWiki - create a web-hosted wiki specifically designed for extremely fast load times.
StikiPad - a hosted wiki solution that gives you an easy way to organize your information and share it with others.
Netcipia - create free private wikis and blogs and invite your coworkers, familiy and friends.
Ziwiki - build up a free wiki site and collaborate with a large community of users.
Near-Time - create and customize collaborative wikis for your business, customers and friends.
LittleWiki - set up free public and private wiki pages that anyone can edit.
TiddlySpot - get your wiki with no installation required and make it private or public.
ProjectForum - create hosted wikis to share, discuss and review ideas collaboratively (self hosted version available too)
Socialtext - build up a wiki in a few seconds. Different plans available for enterprises and smaller groups.
WikiBios - create a wiki page and edit your own biography. You will become part of a large social network.
Wiki - create free wikispaces of up to 5 members each with 25MB storage.
Wikidot - free and professional wiki publishing, collaboration and communication solutions.
Zoho Wiki - create free hosted group wikis and edit them collaboratively.
Wik.is - create public or private wikis and easily integrate them with your existing website.
JotSpot - popular wiki creation service that is momentarily suspended after having been acquired by Google.
Wikia - a community of users that create, share and discover topics they are passionate about through wikis.
EditMe - wiki hosting service that helps non-technical users to quickly and easily build editable web sites.
Versionate - create collaborative spaces where you can share information and review it with other people.
Self-Hosted/Open Source Wikis
ProjectForum - software to create wikis to share, discuss and review ideas collaboratively (hosted version available too).
Kwiki - wiki software with over 200 plugins that let you customize the look of your wiki.
XWiki - open source wiki released under the LGPL license
Twiki - enterprise collaboration platform and knowledge management system based on wikis.
OpenWiki - software that lets you create workspaces that can be collaboratively edited by anyone or by selected users.
MediaWiki - free software wiki package originally written for Wikipedia. It’s available for everyone to use.
Confluence - enterprise wiki software that makes it easy for your team to collaborate and share knowledge.
http://www.wikimatrix.org/compare/BoltWire%2BBusinessWiki%2BClearWiki%2BConfluence%2BDekiWiki%2BEditMe%2BFoswiki%2BJSPWiki%2BMoniWiki%2BSamePage%2BSpringnote%2BThoughtFarmer%2BTikiWiki-CMS-Groupware%2BTraction-TeamPage%2BTWiki%2BXWiki This URL shows a great comparison chart of the components five popular wikis. Some offer a "forum" or "discussion" capability, and some would need a special "plug-in" to incorporate that feature.
CONCLUSION-How might one Describe the qualities of this tool?
Inviting, collaborative, fluid, community-minded, erasable, re-doable, innovative, self-correcting, transparent, ongoing, viable, evolving, intriguing, historical,globally connective, authentic, enlightening, informative, organic,persistent, pervasive, progressive, educational, conversational, efficient, alive.