So... I created my own Wiki tonight! The web address is http://stantonwiki.wikispaces.com/. It is something I definitely plan to use with my students. I began by creating a fairly simple home page. It gives the students an introduction to the page and directions for their first activity. I created a different page for each student so they will only be editing their own work. Of course I have to trust that they will only edit their own since they will technically have the power to edit other pages too. I don't have to tell them that at first though :) I have used fake student names for the time being, but when I actually implement it, I will put the students names (only first with last initial) as the names for each page on the right hand side. That way, they can just click on their name, and begin editing!
I can see this as being VERY useful in my classroom. I think the kids will truly enjoy going online and just typing away knowing that all of their classmates and their teacher can see their work right on their own screen! That feature would also be nice for teachers that do not have LCD projectors in their classrooms. No more hooking up each computer so a child can share their work. Everyone can see each others! This Wiki will make printing out their papers obsolete since I could grade them by just looking at them online from my recliner at home! That certainly is a plus.
Another benefit of this is that the students can work on it at home. All they would need to do is get on the internet and go to the Wiki's address. I have the permissions set up so that anyone can edit it. Of course that can lead to it's own issues, but I would be willing to try it. If other people started going on and editing the page, I could always change the permissions and only have my students be able to edit it. Unfortunately, if I had to go that route, my students would need to sign up for an account. They would each need an email address which is where I might run into an issue. Hopefully no one would mess with our Wiki so I could keep it simple and public!
Even with a few downfalls, I could absolutely see myelf using this Wiki for this type of assignment all of the time. I look forward to using this with my class!