Social-based tools are gaining increasing acceptance in the workplace. JISCMail Scitech-l, Scitech Forums and TecHKnow, Facebook are now more easily accessible than a decade ago. However, one social media tool that still is evolving is that of Wikis.
A wiki is a collaborative web site that collects and organizes content, created and revised by its users. The most well-known example is Wikipedia. Wikis are a way to grow a knowledge base around certain content areas, be it best practices in our role as Science technicians or advice, and help with issues relating to our workplace. Our TecHKnow Wiki will allow any registered user to contribute.
The exciting and most important point about all Wikis is that it improves as more people use it and this approach underlies how we learn and develop as a profession. It is based on the idea that within any enterprise, a great deal of knowledge exists among the community members. Sharing this knowledge and information can raise the professional intelligence, skills or competency, of these members be it a university, a school, a corporation or a profession. The wiki is a tool for today.
An important feature of a wiki is that information should be easily accessible. For example, suppose an inexperienced technician requires help on a particular practical or topic area. The more experienced technicians can offer guidance or support in a variety of ways. The goal would be for novice users to access the wiki at home or at work, search for the task and quickly find the answer.
The TecHKnow Wiki can be used when our profession needs to collect and distribute information:
- Frequently Asked Questions – Simple answers to simple questions
- Knowledge base for a specific science or workplace related topic
- Technical help for those who are not skilled in a specific science discipline
This list is not restrictive or exhaustive!
The TecHKnow Wiki can also develop a sense of community. The TecHKnow wiki has a history page that lists the original contributor of an article (and those who have edited and made revisions). This type of open collaboration provides contributors with a sense of ownership. In addition, when writers come from within the profession they can add a flavour of real-world expertise that others outside of the profession may find appealing, thus attracting them to our profession as a possible career
Reminder of the TecHKnow Wiki Goals
Check out the front page area of the TecHKnow Wiki for how to join and create your first article. In summary, the Goal of TecHKnow Wiki is the efficient and effective sharing of knowledge among its members
- Only those who join the Wiki and have been approved by the Admin or its moderators can add anything to the Wiki. Everybody else is free to read and print out any content.
- Admin and moderators oversee the day to day running of the Wiki and can quickly spot and remove (or roll back to a previous version) any article that does not meet our terms and conditions of use
- You can start an article simply by typing a phrase into the Wiki search bar, or if you require any specific advice or help in using the Wiki we have our own HELP page online or you can also ask many of the TecHKnow community members for help
- The Wiki should be a friendly and very nice place for anyone to work in.