01 April 2006
Wikis have been heralded as one of a number of new and powerful forms of software capable of supporting a range of collaborative ventures and learning activities. This paper addresses the potential uses of wikis - online editable websites - as learning tools in schools. It places wikis in the context of current relevant literature about collaborative learning, summarising major theories of learning in communities and knowledge-building in networked groups. It also looks briefly at the trends in the wider area of 'social software', of which wikis are just one example. Using wikis in school is explored further through a short-term 'case study' in a UK secondary school. The literature and research background is used to analyse some of the emerging issues surrounding using wikis in the classroom highlighted through this case study. This paper looks both at the affordances of the technology itself and the wider context of the classroom, and offers some provisional conclusions about the potential of using wikis to support collaborative learning in schools.