Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What's a "wiki"?

There's no better place to learn about a wiki than at Wikipedia:

A wiki is a website that allows visitors to add, remove, and edit content. A collaborative technology for organizing information on Web sites, the first wiki (WikiWikiWeb) was developed by Ward Cunningham in the mid-1990s. Wikis allow for linking among any number of pages. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for mass collaborative authoring. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, is one of the best known wikis...
The word wiki is a Hawaiian word meaning "quick". Wiki systems are therefore designed so that their content can be made available in a quick and uncomplicated manner.

So what's all that mean? And how can we use it? Well Suzanne W. Morse of Smart Communities has an offer we can't refuse -
This summer we're offering one-on-one assistance to those interested in using the Learning to Finish wiki to collaborate on solutions to the dropout crisis. We understand that new technologies are intimidating at first but can be extremely rewarding further on down the road. We'll help you overcome any initial trepidation you might feel about participating on a wiki by answering any question (no matter how small) and offering technical assistance to get you pushed to the top of the learning curve as quickly as possible.

The Learning to Finish Wiki is a website "that fosters collaboration between parents, educators, community members, researchers, and students toward lowering the dropout rate." Right now it is made up of 3 sections - Program Case Studies, Background Reading , and Online Links.

As a member of the wiki you can add and edit the information shared. As newbies in the online world of non-profits we are definately going to take advantage of this and we encourage you to join in. The more links we make in our mentoring community, the stronger and more sustainable we become. The Learning to Finish Wiki is a great opportunity to find out how to keep Vermont kids in school and prepare them for the future. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education "Research indicates that about 75 percent of America’s state prison inmates, almost 59 percent of federal inmates, and 69 percent of jail inmates did not complete high school." (from Saving Futures, Saving Dollars; Click for download of PDF report)

Wouldn't it be great to join in and help stop this disturbing trend?

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