A wiki is a collaborative Internet venture of the type you are presently browsing. The users of the site can edit the content, adding material and making changes to what has previously been written by other editors.
There can be tens, hundreds or many thousands of pages of interconnected content. Specific items can be linked using blue links, and articles may contain red links which are waiting for some interested user to convert into meaningful content. Furthermore, there is a history of changes to enable users to revert back to earlier versions or review the development of articles.
Ward Cunningham, and co-author Bo Leuf, in their book The Wiki Way: Quick Collaboration on the Web described the essence of the Wiki concept as follows:
- A wiki invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki Web site, using only a plain-vanilla Web browser without any extra add-ons.
- Wiki promotes meaningful topic associations between different pages by making page link creation almost intuitively easy and showing whether an intended target page exists or not. It can be teacher-teacher, teacher-student, and student-student.
- A wiki is not a carefully-crafted site for casual visitors. Instead, it seeks to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Website landscape.
Wikis in ELT could benefit teachers and students in various ways. Some possibilities include:
- By teachers for students
- Support students with syllabus, objectives, exam preparation material, tips, quizzes, exercises and strategies.
- By students for students
- Student project work and planning, journals, class blog.
These wikis tend to have short lives and frequently do not outlast the classes which created them.
General purpose wikis
- By teachers for teachers
- Teaching ideas, experience, tips, projects, teaching philosophies and lesson plans and grammar explanations. Which is really what Teflpedia is.
- By everyone for everyone
- Wikipedia fills this role tjhough it is not an ELT wiki. Simple Wikipedia is also not an ELT wiki although it may be more readable for students and thus useful to students and perhaps to teachers as source material for interesting lessons that would be compatible with Teflpedia's copyright requirements.
For that matter there are broadly focused education wikis, and even more "how to" wikis, but that's not our main focus.
- Teflpedia of course, since 2008 and with NO DISTRACTING ADVERTISEMENTS, yea!
- Wiki JET since 2006 at Wikia
- Elt World Wiki since 2006 at Wikia but little there
- Wikipedia homepage
- Wikimedia UK Blog, English language Wikipedia hits 4 million articles!, 13th July 2012