This site was developed by: Ashley Chin, Catherine Jansen, Allison Korb, Kelsey Lindauer, Eric Lovell, Lyndsy Martin, and Jessica Young.
Edited by: Alex Adair, Olivia Luse, Jack Alvarado
What Are the Uses of MediaWiki?">What Are the Uses of MediaWiki?
MediaWiki is a downloadable software package that was first intended for use by the free encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Today, the software is available for free to the general public to build and publish their own wiki pages.
What Does It Do?">What Does It Do?
By downloading MediaWiki, users can create collaborative and dynamic web pages in which edits to a page are saved to a database, allowing users to easily revert to old versions of the page when necessary.
Who Uses MediaWiki?">Who Uses MediaWiki?
MediaWiki can be used by anyone that wants to create an online wiki page or website.
Table of Contents">Table of Contents
I. History">I. History
I.1 Development">I.1 Development
In the beginning, there was just Wikipedia, which initially ran on UseMod wiki. As Wikipedia began to grow and scalability became an increasingly important issue, contributors implemented different phases of Wikipedia which would later be referred to as Phase I and Phase II. As Phases I and II proved difficult to maneuver through the sites, Lee Daniel Crocker rewrote the Wikipedia software. Crocker's version was first named Phase III, or new code base. Shortly after Crocker's revamp, Brion Vibber took the position of lead developer and release manager (today, the software is managed by a large group of developers). In April 2003, Lee Daniel Crocker made final adjustments to Phase III and moved the software into the CVS module where it currently remains. He then created the site, Mediawiki.org . The name, MediaWiki, was first coined in 2003 by Daniel Mayer, Wikipedia contributor. The logo for MediaWiki was created by Erik Moeller. The logo was first intended to be used for a new Wikipedia logo, but was instead used to represent MediaWiki. The series of squares around the flower represent the syntax MediaWiki uses for hyperlinks to other pages.
I.2 How Does MediaWiki Work?">I.2 How Does MediaWiki Work?
Step 1:Install MediaWiki
- Download files
MediaWiki requires that a web server and a MySQL DBMS and PHP scripted are installed before use. It is recommended for first time users to install WAMP or XAMPP for Windows users, LAMP for Linux users or MAMP for Mac OS X users that implements Apache, MySQL, and PHP5. You also need to find out where your webserver stores web pages.
Put the MediaWiki source files into that directory. A new directory, named mediawiki-x.x/ (x.x is the version number that will be created) will be used so that all the files and directories needed to run MediaWiki will be copied into this directory .
Rename the MediaWiki directory to your site name.
- Run installation
Go to http://localhost/yoursitename in your browser. There should be the MediaWiki icon with instructions that read, 'Please Setup the Wiki First'. Click on the link to do so.
When running the installation process, the first thing to do is to check that the Environment is correctly setup on your computer to run MediaWiki. If all is okay, when the check finishes it says (in green) "Environment checked. You can install MediaWiki." If this message does not come up, check the error messages because you may have not installed something correctly. You must fix all problems before you are able to continue. If you require more help, refer to the MediaWiki SysAdmin Hub.
If everything was okay, start filling in the Site Configuration Form. Follow the instructions and enter the appropriate information into each appropriate blank. Do not forget to click on the "Install MediaWiki!" button at the end of the screen when you are done.
If everything was done correctly, there should be a message that says that MediaWiki has been installed.
Now you may click on the link to go to you new wiki website
The last step will be to move the file called "config/LocalSettings.php" to the parent directory.
Step 2: Create First User
- Create an account
Click on "log in/create account" in the top right corner of the screen.
If you do not have an account, you will have to create one.
Click on "create an account" and fill in the following information.
Click on the "Create Account" button to submit your form.
At the next screen, click "My Preferences" in the top right hand corner. This will allow you to customize your login account to fit your requirements.
Click on each of the tabs to set your personal preferences - Be sure to look at each of the following:
User profile, Skin, Files, Date and time, Editing, Recent changes, Watchlist, Search, and Miscellaneous
*Remember, the changes you make here only affect your user account, not the entire site.
Step 3: Create and Edit Pages
Once you have successfully created your MediaWiki account,
these buttons allow you to create your actual wiki page. Text
can be enhanced similarly to a text-editing program, and
graphics and links can be added.
Step 4: Manage Pages
- View the history
You can view the history of modification of a page by clicking on the 'History' tab.
Go to a page and actually click on the History tab.
Read through the list. You can see the whole history of a page, from its creation.
-Notice the date/time stamp
-The username of the contributor who modified the page is also displayed.
You can compare versions of a page (to verify the modifications made).
Click on CUR to compare an old version with the current one.
Click on LAST to compare a version with the previous one.
Click on Contribs to see every page that user has contributed to the wiki.
Click on Block to ban a user from contributing to the wiki.
Click on Rollback to revert to a previous version of the page.
- Talk or discuss
Every page has an associated 'talk' or 'discussion' page. Go to a page and click
on the 'Discussion tab' at the top. Here users can discuss the content of a page,
article, template, etc.
The first time you create a talk page you are taken straight to the Editing Talk
Step 5: Customize Site
First we will change the logo at the left side of the screen. The easiest way to do this is to just create a new logo image file (using your favorite image software) and save the image as wiki.png.
Then copy this file to /skins/common/images/wiki.png. The logo should be the following size: width= 135px by height= 135-150px.
Another way to change the logo is to specify the location of the logo image file in the localsettings.php file
You can create a skin all by yourself by following the steps provided below:
Go to your Mediawiki directory;
Copy the monobook directory and name it with the name of your skin;
Copy the MonoBook.php file and name it with the name of your skin;
Edit MyWikiSkin.php and change the class name to SkinMyWikiSkin;
In MyWikiSkin.php, change the other class to have your skin name together with the word Template;
The navigation menu appears at the left-hand side of the screen (in default skin).
In the search box, type in "Media Wiki:Sidebar". Click on the "Edit" tab.
The edit box should appear. Note the syntax for the sidebars:
One star = the Menu Section Title
Two stars = the Menu Option
I.3 Getting More Out of MediaWiki">I.3 Getting More Out of MediaWiki
When we think of wikis, the resource wiki is usually the one that pops into our mind. MediaWiki in fact was first created for the famous online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. In the last few years, several other projects have begun to use MediaWiki, including all of those done by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects that use MediaWiki software are resource wikis. These can be great research tools for students, but teachers can take the research wiki a step further and build their own research database instead of using the famous ones already available on the web. Students can create their own wiki, updating information on a specific topic they are studying and adding information to articles that their peers submit. These wikis are then often published and made available to those outside the classroom, giving the students the opportunity to be part of a project that goes beyond themselves. Since wikis allow for articles to be linked to other entries and outside web links, the opportunity to intertwine subjects in one vast wiki exists. Below is a list of common resource wikis by the Wikimedia foundation.
Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
This wiki is more focused on the process of creating the wiki than the final product. Presentation wikis act as a place where students can brainstorm ideas, evaluate their peers' articles, and blog. Students use the wiki as a work space to organize and develop drafts. This type of wiki is particularly useful in creative writing classes. A few colleges have begun to use presentation wikis.
The gateway wiki is more addressed to the scientific and mathematical fields. This type of wiki is rather new and there are only a few institutions using it. The gateway wiki analyzes or supplements a portion of data from a greater source and offers a place where students can analyze raw data. These wikis also act as a place for peers to share their laboratory results, discuss questions, and link their findings to known theories. Hopefully more will be understood about these wikis as they continue to emerge in the science world.
The simulation wiki is unique in that it offers an opportunity for the student to take an interactive approach to a learning experience. These wikis are often used in creative writing or history classes. The students write an article, essay, or passage of a story and at the end of the page, allow the readers to choose among a few different scenarios (links), in essence creating their own ending to the story. It is similar to the once-popular "choose-your-own" ending books where students could make choices as to what they would do in a particular situation and then turn to the page that matches their choice. In the simulation wiki, instead of turning to a certain page, the audience member clicks a specific link and is redirected to the continuation of the story. The simulation wikis focus on writing tools like plot organization, and narrative flow. Authors must make sure their story fits together no matter which path the reader chooses, so close attention must be paid to detail.
II. How Does MediaWiki Relate to Other Applications?">II. How Does MediaWiki Relate to Other Applications?
II.1 Comparison to Competitors">II.1 Comparison to Competitors
Some of MediaWiki's predecessors include:
II.2 Unique Uses">II.2 Unique Uses
A unique detail of MediaWiki is that it utilizes the PHP programming language.
- PHP was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf and appeared in 1995.
- PHP stands for Personal Home Page and it began as a set of Common Gateway Interface binaries. A binary file is a computer file which may contain any type of data encoded for computer storage.
- PHP is a scripting language originally designed for producing dynamic web pages. It has developed into a command line interface, which is a mechanism for interacting with a computer operating system software by typing commands to perform specific tasks.
- PHP is unique to MediaWiki because it is a way to embed information into the website. 
Some NEW applications that are similar to MediaWiki
- MoinMoin is an advanced, easy to use and extensible WikiEngine, with a large community of users.
- MediaWiki (which runs Wikipedia) is an extremely powerful, scalable software and a feature-rich wiki implementation, that uses PHP to process and display data stored in its MySQL database.It is easy to use and gives easy instruction on how to do many different things on the web.
- Zope is an open source application server for building content management systems, intranets, portals, and custom applications. The Zope community consists of hundreds of companies and thousands of developers from all over the world working on building the platform and Zope applications. Zope is written in Python, a highly-productive, object-oriented scripting language.
- PlonePlone is a ready-to-run content management system that is built on the powerful and free Zope application server. Plone is easy to set up, extremely flexible, and provides users with a system for managing web content that is ideal for project groups, communities, web sites, extranets and intranets.
III. Real World Application">III. Real World Application
III.1 Educational Lesson Plans">III.1 Educational Lesson Plans
As with any Internet application, teachers must be especially cautious and well-prepared when using MediaWiki at the elementary level. With proper assistance, upper elementary students (fourth and fifth graders) may be able to use MediaWiki for its developmental purposes. For younger elementary students, however, MediaWiki is most likely limited to its use as a Resource wiki (i.e. using previously built wikis such as Wikipedia or Wikibooks for classroom projects).
There are many possibilities for MediaWiki to be used in secondary education. Using a wiki can help the students prepare them for experiences they might have with wikis in college. For example, using the wiki can help the students with participating in group work and using technology.
MediaWiki can be utilized to enhance many projects at the Post-Secondary level. Group projects can be completed easier using MediaWiki because group members do not necessarily have to meet together to work on the project; instead, members can contribute by posting to the group's page. Lab members in a college chemistry class can use MediaWiki to upload their lab reports and compile an online record of their lab work throughout the semester. Engineering students can use MediaWiki to upload and display the graphs and models created for a group project. Group members can then go in and individually work on the project to adjust the wiki as necessary. Students in a college German class can use the discussion features of MediaWiki to converse with students in Germany and learn more about the language and culture. As these simple examples prove, MediaWiki does not need to be the center of a project, but can be used to significantly enhance a project assigned in any discipline of education.
As the Net Generation enters the workforce, wikis are quickly gaining popularity in the business sector. In business, MediaWiki has two primary uses: either as an information-relaying means to advertise a business or as an open-source tool to simplify group projects. As an information-relay (i.e. wikimmunity), MediaWiki can be utilized to build an informative webpage about a business, including a short history, explanation, and contact information. Even more popular, however, is MediaWiki's function as an open-source tool for business. Regardless of the business size, MediaWiki simplifies communication, data-posting, and information distribution for team projects within a business.  As Tapscott and Williams write in Business Week, "...wikis help stimulate creative thinking and capture knowledge." For a current example of how the introduction of wikis into the workforce has completely transformed business, one can look at the European investment bank, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. Six short months after implementing the use of wiki software in its IT department, Dresdner experienced company meeting times cut in half and e-mail volume decreased by 75%. Company officials credit the collaborative features of wikis for the tremendous results and increase in business efficiency. In the business world, MediaWiki can be used to foster an environment of openness, creativity, and self-organization, leading to more productive workers and more efficient businesses.
">i. Elementary Lesson Plans
(1) Culture Connection
In this lesson plan, students will use MediaWiki to share information about themselves with an international class. They will also learn information about the international class.
The students will have to learn how to use MediaWiki by posting their information and reading the information posted by the international students.
(2) Science Classroom (S.T.E.M.)
In this lesson plan, students will use MediaWiki to post their work from science time in class. Their parents will be able to view their hard work through this wiki page.
The students will have to learn how to use MediaWiki through posting their work.
">ii. Secondary Lesson Plans
(1) Documentary Discussion
In this lesson plan, students will use MediaWiki to watch three documentaries that they will then discuss through a discussion board on the wiki.
The students will have to learn how to use MediaWiki by using the wiki to view the documentary videos and making comments through the discussion boards.
(2) Math Aid (S.T.E.M.)
In this lesson plan, students will use
The students will have to learn how to use
(3) Family and Consumer Science (Child Development)
In this lesson plan, students will investigate the positive and negative aspects of wikis and learn about developmental theorists.
(4) English Education
The students will learn about a famous book from the 20th century and do a student run project on it.
">iii. Post Secondary Lesson Plans
(1) Creative Writing Wiki
In this lesson plan, students will use MediaWiki to post a creative writing assigment. They will then use the wiki to create alternate endings to two of their peers' stories.
The students will have to learn how to use MediaWiki by posting their creative story and the alternate endings.
(2) Online Data (S.T.E.M.)
In this lesson plan, students will use MediaWiki to post their lab data in order to share with their lab group and to compare data with the other groups in the class.
The students will have to learn how to use MediaWiki through posting the data from their science class.
III.2 Business/Industrial Uses">III.2 Business/Industrial Uses
One corporation that uses Media Wiki, is Novell. Novell uses Media Wiki to connect with customers or partners to share their knowledge. It's also a launching point for over a dozen Novell-leading open source project websites. Including openSUSE.org , a worldwide effort to promote the use of Linux. All 100,000 plus employees for Intel Corporation use Media Wiki, it's called Intelpedia.
IV. Demonstration of Educational Value">IV. Demonstration of Educational Value
Though many people have used a wiki before and are somewhat familiar with how they work, few teachers have incorporated them into the classroom. They may seem too complex to create and use with students, but when they are examined it becomes quite easy to see how they could be beneficial to students, especially those at the high school or post-secondary level. In his article about using wikis in the classroom, Mark Phillipson described a few types of wikis that can be used in the educational world including the resource wiki, presentation wiki, gateway wiki, and simulation wiki.
Using MediaWiki in the Classroom">Using MediaWiki in the Classroom
MediaWiki is a powerful tool to incorporate into the classroom. Before students jump into creating their own wiki, however, it is imperative that they understand the ethical responsibilities involved when posting information on the internet. For this reason, the majority of the lesson plans provided focus on the high school level. While lesson plans may be modified to target a younger audience, special precaution and advanced planning must be considered when dealing with students of lower learning and maturity levels.
Your students' familiarity with wikis and the internet will determine the extent to which you will need to introduce them to the software. The "How MediaWiki Works" section offers a good introduction to using MediaWiki and manipulating the software. The following lesson plan can be adapted to reiterate the importance of copyright and ethics before students begin posting information on the Internet:
Understanding wikis and ethical responsibilities: (http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/3717.html)
Using www.wikimmunity.org, powered by MediaWiki, students will post information about businesses and unique attractions in their local city/town while, in the process, learning to value the importance of personal responsibility and ethics when publishing information on the Internet.
Students preparing to use the Internet for publishing purposes.
Before beginning the project, introduce the students to the wikimmunity website and explain its value to the common public. After a brief introduction, assign each student to research and learn more about their favorite local restaurant, hang out spot, or any other attraction unique to their city/town. After researching their specific location, students will create a wiki page about their attraction, including historical information, a description, contact information, and graphics (picture or map). Throughout the research process, be sure to reiterate the importance that they find valid and current information about their chosen location, as this website serves to inform the public of what exists in their city/town.
At the conclusion of the project hold a debriefing in which the class can discuss the ethics of the Internet and what they gained from the project regarding information publishing on the Internet.
V. How is MediaWiki Used Internationally?">V. How is MediaWiki Used Internationally?
MediaWiki is a web-based software. This fact alone means that people all over the world can use MediaWiki if they have internet access. In fact, MediaWiki was developed by people from across the globe. The software currently being used was developed by a German man, whereas the logo is drawn from the work of a French-born photographer. While MediaWiki is available to people across the planet, some applications of MediaWiki have taken extra steps to be applicable in non-English speaking countries. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia and the most well-known application of MediaWiki, is available in over 260 languages.
Businesses across the world are using MediaWiki. Function Design of the United Kingdom uses MediaWiki as an internal knowledge base. France 5, a French television station, uses MediaWiki to store documentary films. Sealink International Berhad of Malaysia builds and operates vessels, and uses MediaWiki for project management in shipbuilding. These companies are just a few examples of the diverse uses of MediaWiki worldwide.
VI. References">VI. References
The following are references that were used while compiling information about MediaWiki.
 How doe MediaWiki work? (2008). MediaWiki. Retrieved November 19, 2008, from http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/How_does_MediaWiki_work%3F
 MediaWiki History. (2007). WikiMedia. Retrieved November 19, 2008, from http://.wikimedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki_history
 Thater & Richter, L & N (2007). Getting Started with MediaWiki. Retrieved November 11, 2008, from http://os.cqu.edu.au/courses/guides/gsmw///
 (2005). MediaWiki Tutorial: MediaWiki Skins. Retrieved November 13, 2008, from SiteGround Web site: http://www.siteground.com/tutorials/mediawiki/mediawiki_skins.htm
 Keller, Jim (2008). MediaWiki Tutorial - Benefits. Retrieved November 11, 2008, from IndicHosts Web site: http://www.indichosts.net/tutorials/mediawiki/index.html
 MediaWiki. (2008). Wikipedia. Retrieved November 10, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wiki_software
 MediaWiki. (2008). Wikipedia. Retrieved November 11, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Php
 Fitsner, F. (2008). Dotnetpanel Forums. Retrieved November 11, 2008, from http://forum.dotnetpanel.com/forums/p/1789/10142.aspx
 MediaWiki. (2008). Wikipedia. Retrieved November 11, 2008 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediawiki
 Sites using MediaWiki corporate. (2008). MediaWiki. Retrieved November 12, 2008 from, http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Sites_using_MediaWiki/corporate
 Phillipson, Mark. Wikis in the Classroom: A Taxonomy. (2007). Retrieved November 13, 2008, from
 Our Projects. (2008). Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 16 Nov. 2008. http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Our_projects
 Pawkowski, John. Understanding wikis and ethical responsible posting of info. (2006) Teachers.net. Retrieved November 17, 2008 from, http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/3717.html
 Goodnoe, Ezra. How to use Wikis for Business. (2005) Information Week. Retrieved November 17, 2008, from
 Tapscott, Don and Anthony D. Williams. The Wiki Workplace. (2007). Business Week. Retrieved December 3, 2008 from
 MediaWiki (2011). Retrieved February 24, 2011 from http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Sites_using_MediaWiki/corporate