One of the early tools of Web 2.0 was the Wiki. This was before Google Docs, Twitter, and the term Web 2.0 came into vogue. Ward Cunningham was the first developer in 1995 and into the early 2000s businesses started using them as interactive sites for their employees. Schools found their use before long and in 2001, the ubiquitous Wikipedia was launched.
In our school district we utilize Wikis as organizational devices to store documents, links, meeting agendas and minutes, and to provide live document editing during meetings. In the last year we have used one for our Curriculum Council, Assessment Committee, Wellness Committee, Math Task Force, Playground Committee, Technology Committee, as well as for my staff at Harold Martin. I’ve been a wiki member for outside committees such as a state wide group on Technology Standards, New Hampshire’s Chapter of ISTE, and I maintain a personal wiki to store everything from workshop notes to Twitter help.
There are three major wiki choices, PBworks, Wikispaces and Google Sites. Each have their advantages, but due to familiarity and ease of use, we have used Wikispaces most often. For the amount of space we require, Wikispaces meets our needs and if you verify that the wiki is being used for educational purposes, the site is both free of charge and free of ads.
Commoncraft produced a Wiki in Plain English video, which is three years old but presents a solid overview. I’ve embedded it below.
Don’t underestimate this “old technology gadget”. It can be a strong organizational tool in your school.