My love for wikis came from one of my NAU Educational Technology Master's classes called Creating Learning Environments. I was amazed at how my professor was able to create a user friendly Master's level course with just a wiki! No Blackboard? No Vista? No Moodle?....No need! Not with a wiki, anyways. The more my class trudged on, the more I was amazed with just how capable a wiki actually was. The more I used our course wiki, the more fascinated I became with them. I then decided to start using them on my own for some of the project-based assessments that I had to create for my various classes.
Today, I still love the fact that wikis allow for easy WYSIWYG editing, easy collaboration, easy organization....and are completely free! I now have a classroom wiki (http://misshendleysclass.pbworks.com/) instead of a classroom website because of all the advantages a wiki offers me. I do love that a wiki allows me to design and organize my own site however I choose. I can upload files and images, and even embed several Web 2.0 tools to further the usefulness of my wiki. I can make students contributors to my site as well if I so choose.
Wikis are not only useful as classroom websites, but can be great for presenting information on a topic, or a great place for a group working on a project to share ideas and documents as well. I even use a separate wiki site as my professional e-portfolio. Students could do this too! I often present lessons and units on my classroom wiki for a real online learning experience. There are many different wikis out there to choose from, but my two favorites are Pbworks and Wikispaces. Both sites offer educational memberships.
I hope this post gets you thinking about using wikis in your own teaching adventures!
(Talking Tech Teacher)