Do you have ideas for using wikis or examples of wikis? Share your own school library media wiki or your favorite wikis here: --Wikis to Share


What is a wiki?

"A wiki is software that allows users to create, edit, and link web pages easily. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites. These wiki websites are often also referred to as wikis." ( Wikipedia) Wikis allow anyone to create or edit a website or webpages with little or no knowledge of hypertext markup language (html). Wikis and wiki pages can be password protected, however, to control who can edit. (WebTools4U2Use is a wiki.) Wikis allow for collaboration on projects and promote ideas.

A wiki is like a blank webpage you can write on with simple tools--text, photos, graphics, videos, links and more. Wikis store the history of page changes so you can see how a page has changed over time, and can revert to an older version if you'd like.

WIkis can contain text, audio, video, photos, links and more. They can be edited by multiple people, making it a great collaborative tool.

Wikis in Plain English

Here's a short video that will help to explain what a wiki is and how it works:

The Wiki Way

A good slideshow overview about using wikis in education:

idea.jpgUsing Wikis

in the School Library Media Center
One of the first, largest and most famous wikis is Wikipedia, a free collaboratively edited online encyclopedia to which you and your students can contribute. While there is much controversey surrounding the use of Wikipedia as a research tool, it is an excellent example of what can be done with a wiki! More than a third of American adult internet users (36%) consult the citizen-generated online encyclopedia Wikipedia, according to a 2007 nationwide survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. And on a typical day in the winter of 2007, 8% of online Americans consulted Wikipedia.

Google has also introduced a competitor to Wikipedia: Knol.

Wikis are also being used to create textbooks and books including some specificially for young people, for those who may benefit texts in simplified English, and for those who may need textbooks in other languages. There is a compendium of quotations at Wikiquote, a Wiktionary (free multi-language dictionary and thesaurus), Wikiversity with thousands of learning resources, and even WikiNews--news you can not only read, but edit and write!

Wikis are being used successfully in classrooms from Kindergarten through graduate school! Here are some examples that are sure to generate some ideas for you and your teachers.

School library media specialists report that they are using wikis to:
  • Learn about wikis and web design
  • Teach about wikis and web design
  • Provide reference materials
  • Teach students about wikis
  • Teach about "authority" in web and reference materials
  • Teach about copyright and/or Creative Commons licensing
  • Compare and contrast Wikipedia with other information sources
  • Help students understand how reference materials are created

Remember, WebTools4U2Use is a wiki! Contribute! Collaborate! Improve it!

You can add "tags" or keywords to wikis and wiki pages. They will help you organize, sort and find information.

five.jpg Five to Test Drive

more.jpg More to Explore

  • AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner A wiki is available to discuss the new AASL standards. (If you want to edit, the password is learner.) Participate!!
  • ALA Professional Tips wiki, covering a wide range of topics for library workers in all types of libraries--filing rules, Second Life, standards, book awards, staff development, etc.
  • ATN Reading Lists Over 1400 reading lists from All Together Now by theme, subject area, author and more. "By using wikispaces, the lists can be updated, added to, deleted from, corrected, etc. by librarians all over the world. How exciting is that!!"
  • Great Book Stories A wiki that links to digital stories and book reviews.
  • Information Fluency Wiki "information fluency meets Web 2.0" -- workshop materials from a variety of places
  • Library Instruction Wiki Where librarians of all kinds can share all kinds of resources: handouts, tutorials, presentations and more.
  • MHS Web A wiki where "staff, students, and parents can add web sites that are helpful for student academic success."
  • National Educational Technology Standards for Students Wiki A discussion about ISTE's NETS*S standards and how they are being implemented.
  • Plymouth Regional High School library chose a wiki as their delivery format for a Research Guide. The Guide provides research support, tools and strategies for Plymouth HS students and teachers.
  • NWSA Library Media Center Wiki Created for and by students for Battle of the Books. Students can post questions, compare and contrast titles, summarize how the wiki has helped them with Battle of the Books, and report how Battle of the Books has helped them with reading.
  • School Library Journal Summit 2007 Wiki Used before, during and after the summit for discussions
  • School Library Media Wiki A wiki by and for Broward County (FL) library media specialists to share news and views, photos of displays and bulletin boards, successful ideas and more.
  • SVMS Media Center Reading Recipes A wiki devoted to reading for this middle school.
  • TeacherLibrarian Wiki A place for school library media specialists to share ideas and resources.
  • Texas School Librarians' Wikispace Designed for school library media specialists in Texas, you'll find a wealth of good ideas, resources, and tools here no matter where you live and work.
  • WMS Library Media Center Wiki (Woodstown Middle School) includes "Rabid Reader Reviews" of books by teachers and a Wiki Workshop outline and links used in a workshop to show teachers more about wikis and how they can be used in different subject areas.
  • Wiki of Obsolete Skills (A-Z) Who needs to know how to use carbon paper anymore? How to dial a rotary phone . A fun wiki to list and explore more obsolete skills.

idea2.jpgCreating Wikis

for the Library Media Center
It's easy and free to create your own wiki on any topic. School library media specialists report they are using wikis to:
  • Create library media websites
  • Publish policies and procedures
  • Publish slideshows and photos
  • Publicize special events
  • Share meeting minutes
  • Collaborate with teachers to provide vetted unit-or subject-based resources
  • Communicate with parents
  • Collaborate with other library media specialists
  • Share ideas and resources with colleagues
  • Locate information on a topic, edit, or add to existing information
  • Post reading questions
  • Post trivia questions
  • Publish information as a follow-up to instruction
  • Publish information as a follow-up to staff development
  • Provide a forum for students to comment on books or new titles
  • Post book reviews
  • Post assignments and collect student work
  • Collaborate with teachers to brainstorm units or ideas
  • Create webpages on temporary (or timely) topics: Teen Tech Week, Banned Book Month, homecoming events in the media center, current events, salute to graduates, etc.
  • Create collaborative online glossaries, dictionaries, subject or unit specific resources
  • Learn from colleagues
  • Create pathfinders
  • Publicize resources for home use
  • Plan and provide an online meeting place
  • Link to or embed videos, slideshows, trailers, websites for books and authors
  • Set up class projects
  • Provide guidelines and rubrics
  • Serve as an electronic handout for classes and workshops (no repeating those dreaded long URLs)
  • Provide professional development
  • Promote and provide online book clubs
  • Enhance class discussions
  • Provide annotated lists, links, resources
  • Provide a "launch pad" for student work on a topic; link to each student's project or report
  • Make student work public
  • Provide an interactive library media calendar for the school community
  • Provide a vehicle for an online professional portfolio
  • Collaborate on an article or manual
  • Collaboratively plan a conference or event
  • Create a staff intranet
  • Create a page of frequently ordered items with details and links to online catalogs
  • Launch surveys and opinion polls
  • Provide a page of frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • Launch slideshows and presentations from classes, students, teachers
  • Create pages for parents
  • Publish annual report of activities for the library media center
  • Teach students about wikis, web publishing, page design, etc.
  • Create templates for projects and reports - individual and/or group

five.jpg Five to Test Drive

In a 2008 survey of school library media specialists, the five most popular tools for creating wikis are:

Remember: You can add "tags" or keywords to your wikis. That will help you organize, sort and find information. You can use the tags to generate a "tag cloud," too! (See the tags and tag cloud for this wiki in the left hand column.)

more.jpg More to Explore

  • Google Sites (new wiki-like web page creation tool)
  • WikiDot An open source wiki creator
  • WikiMatrix A tool to explore the features of the many wikis available and get help in using wikis, too. A wizard is also available to help you choose the best wiki for you to use.

Learn More!


More Info!

For more info.gif about wikis in libraries and library media centers:



for Wikis
Note: Rubistar is an excellent web-based source of rubrics for any project or topic.
Search by the specific type of rubric you want, or make your own!

Another good source of ready-made rubrics is iRubric. If you can't find what you want, you can create your own or modify an existing one. iRubrics can be embedded in webpages or wikis, too.
You might also want to explore Project Based Learning Checklists from To make a project checklist for your students, choose the grade level for the type of project you want your students to do. You can choose from writing, presentation, multimedia or science projects. Then choose from a list of project guidelines and add your own if you'd like,