Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thing 10: Wikis (Collaboration, Part B)

My love affair with wikis began about nine months ago. I was serving on the awards committee for SLA MN and I was on a teleconference with everyone. We were talking about all the documents we needed to pull together and edits that needed to be made and Emily W. said, "Do you guys want me to start a wiki?" We all said yes, but I don't know if anyone knew what we were agreeing to. I know I didn't. It turned out to be the perfect way to get our work done. We didn't have a million emails flying around or documents getting lost in our systems. I think it also kept everyone on task because there was actually accountability attached to it as well.

I loved it so much I encouraged the current president of SLA MN to start one for the board. She's been getting it up and running over the past month with the help of Randi M. and it'll launch next week. I'm hoping that it will aid in the productivity of all the committees and actually foster more collaboration between committees as well. These goals could easily be those of any team(s) working together in a library or school. (Is it truly possible to get committees to work faster? If wikis do it we could see the rise of a whole new civilization soon.)

For this exercise I edited the 23 Things wiki and tossed in my blog address for free exposure. Normally email updates when a wiki has been edited would be a good thing - not for this, but it's easy enough to opt out.

As far as banning Wikipedia as a source of info, that's an interesting, if potentially ill-informed idea. I think that if students found a supporting secondary source there wouldn't be anything wrong with using Wikipedia (or am I being naive?). Every fact should have at least two sources for proper verification, if not more, so we all just need to research responsibly, including students. Wikipedia is an easy way to get started, but it's definitely not the place to stop altogether.

No comments: