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  • Contentious opinions can be passed off as facts until they are picked up by

someone.

  • Inaccuracies can be published and go undetected.

Setting up a wiki for yourself is pretty easy, especially if you have a website which is run on a Linux (as opposed to a Windows) server. Many web hosting deals come with a comprehensive control panel and a range of software, much of which can be installed without a great deal of technical knowledge.

However, if you intend to run a wiki on a school system, there are a few factors you need to take into consideration:

Can a wiki be installed on the school’s web server? If your web space is provided by one of the regional broadband consortia (in the UK) or some other all-in-one education service, the answer will be “no”. You will need to either find a work-around, such as a facility which allows you to do similar things to a wiki, or acquire another website – which means having another domain name, which may give rise to “political” issues and which, in any case, will cost money.

If you do decide to go down the do-it-yourself route, do you have the time and expertise to maintain it? If not, and if there is nobody else in the school who can, perhaps this is not the most appropriate solution.

An alternative is to use a free service, which you can find by typing something like “free wiki hosting” into Google. One that I am using at the moment is http://www.pbwiki.com/ (see http://ictineducation.pbwiki.com/) – it is too soon for me to recommend it as such, but so far it seems fine. It enables you to make the wiki private or public, and requires people to enter a password before they can edit the page. You can upload files as well, and a history of changed pages is maintained. It took about 5 minutes to set up – and that included waiting for email confirmation!

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