Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wikis in Academia, Part II

I've posted before about wikis in academia. It's a very important area of potential growth for many wiki companies. At the same time, I'm sure it's a challenge for educational institutions to make investments in software; budgets everywhere are tight.

Even with upfront software-investment costs, I believe wikis are a technology that quickly earn their keep. The investment pays off in the value of the shared knowledge and collaboration.

Today, eTouch SamePage announced it has been selected by the California Institute of Technology’s (Caltech) Atwater Research Group to integrate the wiki for the group’s internal communications. The prestigious research group will use the SamePage enterprise wiki for several purposes, including project collaboration, posting manuals and procedures for lab equipment and research processes, as well as to update, comment and edit information in real time for the lab group of nearly 50 members.

“We selected SamePage because of the ease of setup, use and maintenance,” said Davis Darvish, a Caltech PhD Graduate Student and member of the Atwater Research Group. “It provides excellent features that keep our information secure and only accessible to those who are authorized. Several members of our research group have used SamePage on other projects, and we had received a number of strong recommendations about the enterprise wiki before making our final decision. Plus, it was one of the best-priced hosted full-service wikis we found.”

The members of the Atwater Research Group are obviously bright; they are engaged in interdisciplinary materials and device research, spanning photonics and electronics and with applications in Si-based photonics, plasmonics, renewable energy and mechanically active thin film devices. And so we are proud they selected SamePage among all the wiki and collaboration-software options out there.

In addition, a couple of months ago, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles announced it was integrating SamePage product for use by the university's IT department, as well as other divisions, for collaboration, knowledge management and long-range planning within its IT department, the backbone for the university's systems. Specifically, LMU will use SamePage to collaborate on multiple campus projects, including the development of new student and faculty-oriented learning spaces in the university library. In addition, academic technology analysts will collaborate on research with faculty in various schools.

It's quite clear that the potential for wiki use within an academic institution is large and varied. And the uptick will continue as more realize its benefits.

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