This article will address the current trends in Wikis, problems with using Wikis, the resources needed to create a Wiki, what kind of learner can learn from a Wiki, and the policies and regulations that apply to using a Wiki. This article should serve as a general overview of Wikis and a starting point for either creating your own or using an existing Wiki in your educational situation.

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki) has a nice definition of a Wiki. For our purposes a Wiki is an amalgamation of knowledge supplied by a group of users. In particular the Edtekki Wikki will be a web-based grouping of knowledge provided by students in a graduate course at the University of Arkansas regarding the use of various technologies in education.

The largest problem mentioned by various Wiki authors is that of content accuracy. Whether from the original author or an editor the content of a given Wiki must be taken ‘with a grain of salt’. Wikis are designed to be easy to add, edit and change content, which means that the information presented may not be correct. A quote from c2.com (http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiHistory) says “Vive le cynisme; vive le Wiki. -- David M”.

The problem of malicious editing could be overcome in a business or education setting by limiting the editors to ‘registered’ users and then limiting the registered users to those who are within the organization. However, this sort of limitation would constrain the scope and curtail creativity and ‘outside the box’ thinking as well.

All the resources needed to create a Wiki are available through the Internet. There are services that host Wikis free and there are paid hosts. There are services that take most of the technical aspects out of your hands. I found a nice “How to start a Wiki” guide on WikiBooks (http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wiki_Science:How_to_start_a_Wiki)

It seems that the real question you should ask before starting a Wiki is “Can I find this information in another Wiki and expand an existing block of knowledge through my additions or does this knowledge area need a Wiki?”