Starting a Wiki with SFSD Instructional Resources

These guidelines are for teachers and administrators who want to start a wiki for curriculum or organizational purposes within the Sioux Falls School District using the school-supported

Step 1: Purpose of the Wiki

Consider what you want the wiki to do and who the members will be. There are many different reasons for starting a wiki.
Here are some:
  • To facilitate communication between teachers for administrative or curriculum purposes
  • To facilitate communication between students in a class
  • To facilitate learning and communication between the class, home and teacher
  • For student publication on a theme or topic (e.g. Grade 8 digital portfolios)
  • To create a portal for a unit of work and distribute information and resources

Step 2: Setting Up the Wiki

Make sure you have spoken to your building administrator and other colleagues to make sure there is consistency in ideas and format in order to maintain a whole-school approach to using wikis in the Sioux Falls School District.

1. Sign In
2. Username: Same as state email username (ex: wh011), Password: password (please change this by clicking "My Account" at the top of the page once you've signed in!)
3. Click "Make a New Space"
4. Enter the required information then click "Create."
5. A wonderful tutorial, "Getting Started With Your Wiki," will open, and you can begin to create your content!

Step 3: Editing the Wiki

Full instructions on how to setup, use and edit a wiki can be found on the wikispaces site tour and further information is available at the wikispaces help page, or click "Help" at the top right corner of this page.

Here are some links that may help with ideas for using wikis in education:
Teachers First: Wiki Ideas for the Classroom
21st Century Teaching Wiki
Ways to Use Wikis in the Classroom
Digitally Speaking: Wikis in the Classroom
Wiki Wisdom: Lessons for Educators

Step 4: Inviting Members

  • Individual member invitation
  • Class membership
  • Standardization of member names

For detailed instructions on inviting members click the "Help" link at the top of this page, then choose, "Adding Members to Your Space."

Step 5: Wiki Etiquette and Acceptable Use

Any member of the wiki space can edit the wiki. This is a positive collaborative idea, but carries responsibilities. Some reasons for an edit are:
  • To add additional information
  • To change incorrect information
  • to link information from another source

When anyone chooses to edit, there is a record kept of the changes. Sometimes it is necessary to revert to a previously saved version. But everyone must keep in mind that it is a shared space with many different contributors. If a major change is contemplated, it might be best to check with the original author through e-mail. Keep in mind that the last saved copy is what the next person sees.

Essential Features

This wiki space and domain name has been purchased by the Sioux Falls School District to facilitate the use of an online learning environment, specifically a wiki, for all learners in the school (teachers and students). The wiki pages and spaces made using this facility will have the following essential features:
  • NO advertising
  • Choices for levels of privacy ranging from completely private to completely open to the world
  • Unlimited number of spaces
  • Up to 50MB uploads (documents, multimedia)
Note the difference between a wiki page and a wiki space: a page is what you are reading from now. A space is a collection of wiki pages.

Why Use a Wiki?

Without knowing any HTML, wiki's allow students and teachers to create web pages. These pages can be edited anywhere and, if you choose, by anyone. A wiki allows for world, school, or class wide collaboration.

You can use wikis in classrooms for:
  • Class Notes
  • Parent/Student Communication
  • Lesson Summaries
  • Handouts
  • Course Syllabus
  • Course Links and Resource Notes
  • School or class calendar
  • Collaboration of Notes
  • Concept Introduction and Exploratory Projects
  • Dissemination of Important Classroom Learning Beyond the Classroom
  • Teacher Information Page
  • Student written books
  • School Newspaper

Students can use wikis for:
  • Improving editing skills
  • Writing for a purpose and audience
  • Collaborative construction of text
  • Practice of reading and writing skills
  • Higher order thinking skills

The content in this page was adapted from Quatar Academy Wikispaces,