Steve O'Connor
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Wells Central School
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About Me
Fifth Grade Teacher in a remote rural Adirondack community. I am constantly experimenting with web 2.0 open source server side applications with my students.


Steve O'Connor's Blog

Simple Open Source Wikis

Posted on November 6, 2008 at 6:29pm 3 Comments

I love MediaWiki. It is the engine of the Wikipedia and a great environment to work with.

That being said, it is more complex to install and administrate than many web 2.0 platforms.

Can anyone recommend a simpler free and open source wiki that is easier to install and administer?

I'm not interested in hosted solutions--just open source that one could run on shared server space.

Comment Wall (16 comments)

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At 10:30am on August 22, 2009, Denise Lindstrom said…
Hi Steve, I have a technical question about Elgg. I just installed it yesterday and find the "community support" in Elgg above my head. In the past I've used Ning but I work with 5th grade students and don't want to be in violation in their terms of use.

I want to add a widget that allows me to grant permission for users to join. Or blocks people from joining. I'm fine with having to add all the users myself.

I keep reading that in order to add a widget I need to go to /mod directory. I'm using a hosting service and the help desk there told me I need to create this folder. I don't know how to do this.
At 9:34am on July 10, 2009, Aparna Vashisht said…
Thank you for the comment! I will participate more, I promise. I was just amazed at what few tools are out there.

:) Aparna
At 12:26pm on May 2, 2009, Donelle said…
I'll check out commentpress. Sounds like what I may be looking for. I am using edublogs for the school blog, but that uses WP, so I'm thinking it would still work. Thank you so much for your help!
At 12:45pm on April 30, 2009, Donelle said…
That sounds interesting. I like the organization of the wiki, but the comment feature of the blog. Thus, I've been wrestling with finding the right platform. I think having students comment on each other's work is so important. I'd love to hear what you think of commentpress. Do you use standard wordpress now, or WP w/ edublogs?
At 9:13pm on April 29, 2009, Donelle said…
So then, do you prefer blogs for posting student work, to allow for comments?
At 7:12pm on January 17, 2009, Jack said…
Hi Steve. I was wondering if you have any high school contacts who would be interested in participating in a nationwide SAT Vocab Video Contest @ MIT university. You can view contest details at Please let me know. Thanks!
At 3:48pm on October 1, 2008, Karen Fasimpaur said…
Funny, I thought the same thing about your blog. (Did you see my blog post for today on K12 Open Ed? :)
At 3:10pm on October 1, 2008, Karen Fasimpaur said…
Wow -- what a post! Very helpful -- but also scary and a little depressing.

I'm not sure where the project I'm working on is going. It is fortunate, but also challenging, that it is a big project with a lot of teachers who are ready to jump into this big time. (Very unusual from most any other schools I've worked with.)

This is very difficult for me. I am SUCH a believer in student blogging and not creating artificial, closed environments that don't foster real 21st century skills development. I am also a realist about the policy implications though.

If you set up an online space to discuss this, I'd be happy to join in. (I looked for discussion on sites like Will's, I support blogging, etc. but didn't find much. You're in my feed reader in the meantime.

Btw, on an unrelated note, I see you're interested in open source. I do some work with open source content that might be of interest to you. (See We recently started an open dictionary for kids and teachers that we're pretty excited bout.
At 2:03pm on October 1, 2008, Karen Fasimpaur said…
Hi, Steve. I just spent a half hour reading the WordPress MU posts on your blog. Very informative - thanks.

I am in the midst of setting up a WordPress MU installation for a middle school. The technical aspects are manageable, but I am struggling with the policy issues. I am trying to weigh the need to moderate everything for safety reasons against the desire to teach kids responsibility and be more independent.

Another non-trivial issue is the amount administration required by all this. At a middle school with 70+ teachers and 900+ students, the amount of moderation traffic might be overwhelming.

Anyway, your blog is helping me think through these issues. Let me know if you have any other advice related to the above.
At 1:41pm on September 15, 2008, Suzie Boss said…
Hi Steve,
Sorry I didn't catch up with you this time around--my deadline came and went before we could connect.
Next time!


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