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The Wiki as Knowledge Repository: Using a Wiki in a Community of Practice to Strengthen K-12 Education

TLRPTIL Volume 52, Number 6, ISSN 8756-3894


The concept of managing an organization's knowledge has caught on in recent years (Sallis & Jones, 2002). Dubbed knowledge management, the field has grown as it addresses key characteristics of knowledge, like the concept that knowledge cannot be separated from a knower and the idea that there are two types of knowledge: tacit, which is intangible know-how, and explicit, which is objective and formal knowledge that can be communicated easily. One of the great challenges of the knowledge management field is sharing tacit knowledge in a way that passes it along to others or even converts it into something like explicit knowledge. The most obvious strategy for managing knowledge in the educational context would be nurturing communities of practice. Communities of practice, as defined by Wenger (1998), are the communities in which there exists "the sustained pursuit of shared enterprise" (p. 45). Key characteristics of a community of practice--its root at the point of practice and its dependence upon social interactions--specifically address some of the traditional obstacles of K-12 teachers' practice. One obstacle a community of practice cannot easily overcome is the issue of timing and logistics: "when" are teachers to interact beyond basic levels of polite social exchange? Carroll et al. (2003) suggested that online tools could be a suitable medium for connecting teachers when face-to-face interactions are not feasible, and the growing power of such tools in the wider culture draws attention to their potential application for connecting professionals. In this article, the author talks about a wiki--a tool that has often been used to support a knowledge management system, and describes how a wiki can be used in a community of practice to strengthen K-12 education.


Sheehy, G. (2008). The Wiki as Knowledge Repository: Using a Wiki in a Community of Practice to Strengthen K-12 Education. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 52(6), 55-60. Retrieved November 28, 2020 from .

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