Wikis in Education

Wikis can be a great tool to use in your classroom or school. Think of wikis as websites that are quickly and easily updated by one or more people. This collaborative editing of pages makes it great for group work. You can get a free wiki site here: Or you an try PBworks which also offers free ad-free wikis for teachers.

by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Why Wikis?

  • Practice in collaborative work
  • Flexibility in accepting others' ideas - consensus-building and compromise
  • Creative elaboration on own ideas or "piggy-backing" on ideas of others
  • Introduces/reinforces idea that a creative piece is never done
  • Practice synthesis and collaboration
  • Demands participation, with students as active producers - not passive consumers of information and ideas
  • Encourages revision, looking at idea from others' perspective
  • Authentic, wider audience

In your classroom

  • Post announcements for parents & students - homework, upcoming events, etc.
  • Group research projects - Create a new page per group or topic. Students can share links, post research notes, and even work on their group paper. Can even be with students around the world.
  • Projects in which students/teachers need to contribute at different times and/or different locations.
  • Collaborate on ideas, post resources, organize documents
  • Attach documents and forms - permission slips, homework policy, syllabus, etc.
  • Post your class newsletter here. If desired, students could be given permission to contribute to the newsletter.
  • Post images, links to videos, etc. - can embed PowerPoint presentations through or embed a YouTube/Teacher Tube video
  • Include website links for units, fun sites for kids, etc.
  • Digital portfolio of student-created videos (embedded)
  • Ongoing vocabulary list
  • Book review- class contributions or open up to others
  • As a collaborative handout for students
  • Post observations, reports, and data for experiments
  • Discussion area
  • Place to post class contributed notes
  • Use as a multimedia textbook. YouTube videos that have the Choose Your Own Adventure type of format might be particularly appealing. Students can even contribute to making the textbook.
50 Ways to Use Wikis for a more Collaborative Classroom
Eleven Interesting Ways to use Wikis in a Classroom

Teachers First Wiki Walkthrough - How to set up a class wiki, ideas on how to use
What is a wiki and how to use one for your your projects - how a teacher can use wikis in classroom resource


Purple Dolphins - Grade 3 wiki, with student contributed writings on rainforest animals and Greek gods
Katie Christo
Educational Wikis Examples - listing of some educational wikis and their description


  • Create a wiki page per meeting group. Post meeting notes, agendas, discussions. Group members can provide updates on action items.
  • A departmental or grade level page. Share helpful ideas, websites, post announcements, create discussions, and attach documents to share.
  • Group planning tool. Classroom teachers and specialists can collaborate on upcoming units of study. Brainstorm ideas, attach helpful documents or links, provide feedback and discussions throughout the unit.
  • Collaborate on important documents such as handbooks, policy items, or special reports.
  • Upload documents that you need readily available, but not necessarily in paper format
  • Post announcements similar to a daily or weekly bulletin.
  • On a professional development page, post handouts, upcoming sessions, and invite discussions related to a session topic.
See more ideas on Tech & Learning


Getting Tricky with Wikis- Tools, add-ons and tricks to help make your wiki more aesthetic and functional
Cool Tools for Schools - Links to online tools that you can use on your wiki or in general, categorized (audio, presentation, polling, organization, etc.)
Wikis grading rubric template - rubric by Jeff Utecht
Getting Started with Wikis - Learn about wikis, their setup, and how to use from Wikispace's site. Presenter toolkit.
Wiki Walkthrough by Teachers First - covers intro, blog vs. wiki, who uses, basics

Wikispaces tour - video tutorial on getting started with wikispaces
Adding Comments to Wikispaces pages
- Simple 1-page handout on getting started
In Wikispaces, you can now create teams for specific projects, enabling members of that team to work together, independent of the other teams. This is great for work on specific units.