Book Review

Wikis for School Leaders

Using Technology to Improve Communication and Collaboration

by Stephanie D. Sandifer, Eye on Education, Larchmont, N.Y., 2011, 160 pp. with index, $29.95 softcover

 

Wikis for School Leaders is geared to meet the needs of K-12 school administrators interested in using wiki technology as a tool to improve administrative practice, instructional effectiveness and ultimately student achievement.

 

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Administrators will find this text useful in facilitating the principles of democratic leadership through the use of a wiki to reduce bureaucratic hierarchies.

Author Stephanie D. Sandifer, who is an online educator and a technology coach with the Houston A+ Challenge, helps the reader make connections with real school settings. She uses scenarios addressing issues that commonly arise in schools, peppering her discussion with references to “Before Wiki” (B.W.) and “After Wiki” (A.W.).

The book includes detailed descriptions of wikis, readiness-level assessments, a guide for creating a wiki account and sample agendas for wiki workshops to help school leaders teach others to apply the technology. Sandifer shares evidence of how wikis can improve time management and the quality of meetings.

One of the most important aspects is the explanation of how wikis can engage students to improve literacy skills, not only in reading and writing but also computing and problem-solving skills.

Because Web 2.0 is the communication and collaboration medium of the digital generation, Sandifer illustrates how several of the Web 2.0 tools, such as Google Docs, blogs, twitter and Facebook, can be seamlessly integrated into wikis. She shares techniques to ensure privacy while keeping documents intended to be easily accessible to the public.

Wikis for School Leaders uses terms easily understood by those who do not consider themselves technology experts.

Reviewed by Ronald A. Styron Jr., director, Gulf Coast Instructional Leadership Center, University of Southern Mississippi, Long Beach, Miss.