What is WIKI?

found pic @ ucview
Wiki is in "Ward" Cunningham's original description: "The simplest online database that could possibly work."  Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the fly. The first ever wiki site was created for the Portland Pattern Repository in 1995. That site now hosts tens of thousands of pages. Originally it was wikiwiki, the Hawaiian expression for "fast" or "quick" but language users tend to simplify words, therefore only wiki remained.
Wiki is unusual among group communication mechanisms in that it allows the organization of contributions to be edited in addition to the content itself. Like many simple concepts, "open editing" has some profound and subtle effects on Wiki usage. Allowing everyday users to create and edit any page in a Web site is exciting in that it encourages democratic use of the Web and promotes content composition by nontechnical users.
In ELT the uses for a wiki are incredible. You can get students to practise reading, writing, looking for information, organising it, looking for the adequate images, checking their pairs' written production and self-correcting their work. Most importantly it is an incredible tool to motivate students, less engaged in FL tasks, because they feel they are not so exposed to the class and to the teacher, having also some models/ examples online to follow or get some inspiration. To create a wiki you can use Google sites, wikispaces or any other available on the Web. In a future post, I will explain how you can adapt the collaborative spirit of a wiki so that you can evaluate written tasks individually. 
Here is an example I used with my 12th grade students:

Written Tasks 4 Professional Courses

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