Passion, purpose and need - don't start a wiki without these qualities. Adam points out that a wiki + work does not automatically = productivity. He also empasized that it needs to be simple. So simple tht it won't be a barrier to its own use. It can, but it must be something for which a wiki is well suited. Everything that they might use a whiteboard for would be a good use of a wiki.
I can't tell you how many potentially great technology tools have been abandoned because they were started by those who are excited by the technology, but do not have a stustainable topic to keep the inertia going. This relates to the conecpt that educators MUST make sure that teaching and learning are first in any implementation of the technology tool in the classroom.
Helpalot will be a site where you can have personal page stating what charities you support, who your friends are and much more. One element is evaluations. You can read more about the project at www.makingthesite.com
While I'm still working on writing down the details of the concept, I was easily able to set up a test version for the evaluation part.
What you can do on the Ning test site; Evaluate charities. It's as simple as that.
Heddy described how their wiki became an "accidental resource" - they launched an organic tool for internal as well as external uses, and it has exploded as interested parties from around the globe have joined in, taken part and developed resources for their mission.
In doing so, they have become among the largest such resources on the web. I think it's an extraordinary example of technology having unanticipated outcomes. The challenge is getting this type of solution beyond the restrictive, yet justifiable barriers placed by educational institutions to protect students. There are many ways we can support educational use of wikis to have a similar usability and immediacy. Adam just described what I was writing as "the challenges are 'social, not technical.'" Spot on!
The session is being immoderated by Robert Frank, currently the VP of Strategy and Business Development at Banana Republic and CompuMentor Board Chair.
A bit about our speakers:
David Lehr, from Project Market Light at Stanford's Digital Vision Program, works with rural farmers in developing markets to deliver information on-demand, directly to cell phones. Eric Sundelof is from the Reuters Foundation and inthefieldONLINE.net, a cellphone platform for in-the-field reporting solutions for especially emerging markets.