I know it sounds very “brave new world”, but my forays into the world of Wiki (Hawaiian for “quick”) and other social software have convinced me that something very brave and new is happening out there. In this world, phrases such as “new paradigm”, “the Next Big Thing”, “democracy in education”, and “hypertext on steroids” abound.
Of all the social software available, Wiki seems to have captured the imagination of a lot of people. A quick definition: Wiki is a piece of server software a software tool that allows users to freely create and edit hyperlinked Web pages using a web browser. Wiki implementations typically use a simple syntax for users to create new pages and cross links between pages on the fly. For more information, click here .
Big companies such as Motorola and SAP are using TWiki (a Wiki based tool) to design chips and develop software collaboratively by large teams spread across the globe. To read more on TWiki and its many success stories, click here .
heard somewhere that the knowledge economy has ushered in the era of
synthesis (of existing knowledge) as opposed to innovation (of
something new and hitherto nonexistent). I guess synthesis presupposes
the breakdown of knowledge class system of the teacher and the
taught/expert and the novice. Wiki seems to be just the tool that would
allow virtual communities around the world to synthesize and synergise
new knowledge from an existing base.
a lot of thoughts on the economics, culture, and behavior of Wiki
communities which make fascinating reading. For more information, check
out the following URLs:
does Wiki have a place in e-learning as we know it? The answer,
according to an article by Eva Kaplan-Leiserson in Learning Circuits,
is a resounding “yes”. Read this article to learn how Wiki can be used in the e-learning sphere.
For a non-user, I’m very excited. How about you?
(Priya Thiagarajan is a Senior Instructional Design consultant)