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The wiki is a wonderful thing. I mean, a wiki is collaborative knowledge-building and sharing. How can you not love that?! But I won't wax too philosophical here about wikis -- that's not the point of this story.

The point is that Wikispaces has announced that it will begin offering free wikis to those in higher education, just as it already does to K-12. "It's the logical next step for us," the company says, "all things considered."

Since Wikispaces released made the decision to offer free (and ad-free) wikis to educators five years ago, the company says it's given away around 980,000 of them. It's now extending that offer beyond K-12, to instructors, professors, students, researchers, librarians -- anyone who's using a wiki at the university level.

Wikispaces says that the services it gives as away for free as part of this educational package would normally run you about $50 per year. The company offers more robust services via paid subscription plans for companies, schools, and organizations who want wikis. But free or not, Wikispaces has made the commitment to the educational space. The wiki-building tools are fairly simple to use -- for wiki administrators and users. WYSIWYG and all that. Wikis can be public or private. And while sometimes it's worth being cautious around the promise of free tools (for a number of reasons), Wikispaces does offer good support and can provide a strong community should you run into trouble.

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Audrey Watters


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