It was an interesting week exploring wikis. I must admit that I am still getting the hang of using a wiki site, especially the formatting and linking tools, but I am learning. The video, Wikis in plain english, was very helpful for me in grasping the concept. What makes a wiki unique is that other people can alter the information you have submitted (where a blog is a place for you to record information and thoughts). Although people can comment on your blog, they cannot change the information you have entered. I think a wiki would be useful for an assignment or topic of discussion that involves several people and a blog would be more useful when you want to share information. I think that I would allow students to cite a wiki as a source of academic research as long as the wiki had references listed (such as Wikipedia). I may be a bit skeptical if a student obtained certain information from a personal wiki site that was not backed up by another reference. Having said that, I think some wiki sites (again, such as wikipedia) are quite reliable as many people have an interest in maintaining the validity of the site.
Out of curiosity, I have entered information that I know to be incorrect on wikipedia, and it was changed back within minutes. I also like the idea of students using wikipedia because it is a good source for information that tends to change. Text books are a great source of information, and can remain valid for years in certain subjects (such as history), however in areas such as patient care a text book can become dated soon after it is released. A site like wikipedia could prove to be a good source of newly changed information. It may be difficult for wikis to enforce policies that prove the validity of the information to the public. It is good to have a reference cited at the end of the wiki so that if a reader is skeptical about any information, they can go to the source and research the subject further. Using a wiki in healthcare education may be quite useful, especially in the diagnostic imaging field. It would be a good place to share images with students and recieve their input on the image. Aside from the use of wiki's in education, I could definitely see myself using a wiki to plan a group vacation or potluck!