Wikis are amazing!!! From an educational stand point these are amazing and more I learn about them the more I like. Name something else that gives a sense of responsibility and ownership to the students. And if this wasn't enough it gives them editorial control in an open, collaborative and the democratic process of gaining knowledge. Holy crap Wiki's are amazing!( I promise not to use amazing any more in this post).
More specifically making a Wiki out of a students research paper, it could be on any subject, but the example in the book is global warming. After entering it onto Wikipedia for example the entire class could monitor and watch what happens to the information. Then even discuss it as a class to critically analyze those modifications. Talk about teachable moments and learning that would be coming out of their eye balls.
Another way of using Wikis is using them as a debate tool for students. I like chocolate and you like vanilla. Then let the students debate research and collaborate what they believe. Once again you can see the potential to truly engage students because the are working and learning as a community with the teacher only guiding. WOW Heres an example of a wiki that a six grader poroduced with this idea in mind.
And finally using it among teachers to post lesson plans. This could be wonderful especially for some older teachers who could learn and see how easy it is to use new aspects of technology in their teaching when the would have been frightened to before. I'm sure everyone can read in my words the excitement that wikis potential are for in the classroom. Visit teacherlounge and see a great way to collaborate with other teachers
Absolutely Wikis will be used in my classroom and with the admin software out there you should be able to make sure there is no offensive material used or at least monitor who posted it and deal with it accordingly. I like Wikis a lot.