Wikispaces who has always been a great supporter of wikis in K-12 Education giving away some 980,000 free ad-free wikis for classroom use over the years will announce next week that not only will it continue to support K-12 Education, but will also be opening up it’s free service to higher education as well. The features in these free educational wikis normally cost $50 per year, but are completely free for educational use. The announcemnent will be made on the wikispace blog next week.
Last year at ISTE 2010 I led a discussion at EdubloggerCon titled “Are Wikis Dying” it was a great conversation and the comments on the blog post added some value as well. Adam, and the team from wikispaces, was there as we discussed the future of wikis in a Google Docs, sycrounous editing world. Wikispaces continues to add functionality and I do think there is still a place for wikis…..just not sure where. Personally I haven’t started a wiki or been involved in a wiki project for over a year. The wiki projects that I’ve worked on with kids have been about adding value to wikis and to the greater good. But then again my school has adopted Google Apps for Education and I think Google Docs and Google Sites has replaced much of the funtionality that my school use to use wikis for. This might not be true of all schools and there are still cases in which I think a wiki is the best tool for the task…..we just have more tools. I think that wikis are getting back to what their orignial purpose was…to create collabertive content. There was a time when we used wikis for anything and everything because they were easy to create and edit. Teachers used them as webpages for classrooms (and still do). We used them to plan sessions or take notes (and still do). But as the Web 2.0 world continued to develop other tools made for those specific purposes have filled those niches and we’re seeing wikis return to their orignial purpose…collabertive projects. So are wikis dying? No…their just returning to their orignial purpose which means we’re using them better and their purpose is becoming more clear…which in a connected world of infinite choice it’s good to see something become clearer.
Thanks Wikispaces for your continued support of education!