Introducing WikiEducator

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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.

The WikiEducator[1] 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[2] 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.

The WikiEducator community aim 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.

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[3] 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 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.

WikiEducators strive to be friendly and neighbourly. Our mantra is: "Just try it! Our community will support you".

WikiEducator's learning content

The WikiEducator community is working together to develop free educational content that incorporates the educational features associated with well designed distance education materials. Therefore, you will find that content in WikiEducator typically includes educational elements like learning objectives, activities and case studies. In the tutorials which follow, you will learn how to include these elements into the content you author.

Types of content on WikiEducator

There are four distinctive types of content you will find on Wikieducator:

  1. Pages used for planning of WikiEducator projects;
  2. Content pages -- our free educational materials;
  3. Resources on how to create open education resources (OERs)
  4. Funding proposals developed as free content.

Selected examples of the different types of WikiEducator content are listed below.

Pages used for the planning of initiatives or projects

Consider for example:

Development of free content[11] on WikiEducator

Selected examples include:

Resources on how to create open education resources (OERs)

For example:

Funding proposals developed as free content

WikiEducator encourages the community to develop funding proposals for free content or free software initiatives that are released as free content. Successful bids include:

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Educational wiki projects -- Thinking about similarities and distinguishing features

There are a growing number of wiki projects working in the educational sector. Consider for example:

Questions for discussion

  • In what ways does or should the WikiEducator community differentiate itself from these projects?
  • Based on your analysis of the listed wiki projects, what advice can you provide for our community to promote a sustainable and successful project?

Additional reading

URL links in this section

  1. WikiEducator