Digital skills for collaborative OER development/Wiki skills/About WikiEducator

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About WikiEducator

WikiEducator is an international wiki community and home for OERu course development. For example, the materials for this course were developed and are hosted on the WikiEducator website. The WikiEducator community aims to develop open content resources in support of all national curricula. This represents a return to the core values of education, namely to share knowledge freely.

The WikiEducator family

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Wikis are about communities -- not the technology that enables them. Social communities develop around projects and ideas. For instance, the Wikipedia community is working together to build a free online encyclopedia. These communities are drawn together by a common set of values.

Many wiki communities believe that content should be free. The slogan of the Mediawiki software, which runs WikiEducator and all the projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, encapsulates this spirit rather well: Ideas want to be free. This is why wiki software is often cited as an example of social software because of the ease with which users can work together on content. This combined with the communication features of wikis enables people to connect with each other and to build a real sense of community.

The WikiEducator domain names were registered in February 2006, and the first site was hosted on a desktop machine at the University of Auckland. WikiEducator was nurtured and incubated by the Commonwealth of Learning from May 2006 till June 2009. Due to the phenomenal growth and international success of the project, WikiEducator is now an independent initiative hosted by the Open Education Resource (OER) Foundation, a charitable non-profit entity.

WikiEducators strive to be friendly and neighbourly. Our mantra is: "Just try it! Our community will support you". Participants are welcome to join the main WikiEducator discussion on Google Groups.

The values of our WikiEducator community

It is important to recognise and respect the core values of the different wiki communities. The WikiEducator community believes in the following values:

  • The social inclusion and participation of all people in our networked society (Access to ICTs is a fundamental right of knowledge citizens - not an excuse for using old technologies).
  • The freedoms of all educators to teach with the technologies and contents of their choice, hence our commitment to Free/Libre and Open Source technology tools and free content.
  • That educational content is unique - and by working together we can improve the technologies we use as well as the reusability of digital learning resources.
  • In a forward-looking disposition working together to find appropriate and sustainable solutions for e-learning futures.
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Do any of the WikiEducator community values appeal to you as an educator? Do values matter? What do you think?