Newsweek Online has a fascinating article about how the use of blogs and wikis is spreading across government agencies, businesses, etc.
“In what’s been dubbed the “wiki workplace,” a growing number of organizations have begun shifting from traditional hierarchical structures to self-organized and collaborative networks, using wiki software—a basket of technologies that include wikis, blogs and other tools—to foster innovation across organizational and geographic boundaries. Executives say the new tools make it easier for teams to collaborate and share information, and to get projects up and running on the fly. “Collaborative software has become a very important part of how businesses will invent and innovate,” says Ken Bisconti, IBM’s vice president of messaging and collaboration software.”
The article documents uses by the United Nations, Germany, IBM, and even a “wiki Congress” site.
“Imagine millions of people connecting with world leaders and thinkers to discuss, debate and collaborate on everything from global politics to climate change. “Wikinomics” coauthor Don Tapscott says wikis have the potential to spawn new models for international problem solving and dialogue, increase transparency in government and open communication between citizens and policymakers.”
As these tools move into the mainstream, how can schools still be blocking blog sites or wiki sites from student use? Will we really be preparing our students for the world they live in outside of school, the workplace, or future where information is “transparent” if we don’t allow them to utilize them as part of the learning process?