One of the most exciting Read/Write Web technologies that is available for educator use includes wikis. Since I was introduced to wikis some time ago, I often forget that many educators are not familiar with them and lack a clear understanding of how they work. Wikis allow people to collaboratively edit and work on a series of web pages. Perhaps, one of the best examples is the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
You can find thousands of education wikis online, but a short list of educational wikis and what you can do with them are at http://mguhlin.wikispaces.com/wikiwiki
In the meantime, a roundup of wikis you can quickly create using free, web-based services include the following:
- Wikispaces.com – In addition to offering 100,000 free wikis to educators, they have also created a wiki about Educational Wikis. Check it out online at http://educationalwikis.wikispaces.com/
While there are many other free wiki services, these are certainly a place to start. If your school district blocks access to wikis, I encourage you to ask them to either open the space or allow you to setup your own wiki on school/district servers. For that purpose, I would recommend you use either MediaWiki (mediawiki.org) or TikiWiki.org
And, finally, stopping programs from installing themselves on our Windows computers can be difficult. Otherwise, we would not have all these firewall and anti-malware software utilities available. However, what do you do when the software that's being installed without your permission is the latest version of Internet Explorer? While Firefox 7 rates higher at blocking Internet Explorer 7 phishing scams, some of us may be content to just stay with the browser we have on our machines and avoid the browser wars. No doubt, network technicians are suffering the same anxiety from Microsoft that they suffer from teachers on occasion—how to stop unwanted software installations.
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