The power of a BIG wiki


WHAT comes next depends on what you, the user, makes happen 🙂 There are no training wheels.”

This is a great extract line in Bering Strait School District Open Content Initiative. Its a BIG wiki, with well over 10,000 collaboratively produced pages. I really liked the Lesson Plan section, which shows a great deal of intellectual property being developed. There is also a fantasic blog, which also contains massive ‘community yummy-ness’, and has plenty of input from teachers, students and community – which has created a substantial knowledge resource – which I have to say exceed some urban efforts I have seen with millions of dollars pumped into them. This wiki is a fantastic example of what can be achieved – when people get involved.

There is a depth of authentic ‘us-ness’ about the wiki and the blog. There are great posts about getting lost in the arctic, written as a recount with passion, that really give you a sense of the area and the lives of people living up there.  This wiki and blogging community isn’t in the big cities – or in the most privalidged schools – it is in a community, who understand what it means to share ideas, stories and co-operate and discuss real issues. There is a synergy between learning and the community – based on participation.

So the next time someone says ‘I don’t have the time, resources, training etc.,’ to build a better community – then perhaps this will be a worthy example to share. To me this is what should be happening, not through motherhood statements, but living and breathing communities working towards a common goal. Its hard to imagine just how many hours and conversations have taken place in it’s development – a close network or co-production. Solving their issues is as one community comment stated ” We will get there one child at a time one, one encounter at a time”.

I wonder if communities at the ‘edge’ of society are best placed to capitalise on their community roots to do this because of their understanding of communication and connectedness in the first place.

Photo: Josephine Pete