Wikispaces Blog http://blog.wikispaces.com Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:34:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 This is an XML content feed. It is intended to be viewed in a newsreader or syndicated to another site, subject to copyright and fair use. Wikispaces is no longer offering free non-education wikis http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wikispaces/~3/-fugqienvu8/wikispaces-is-no-longer-offering-free-non-education-wikis.html http://blog.wikispaces.com/2014/09/wikispaces-is-no-longer-offering-free-non-education-wikis.html#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:34:23 +0000 http://blog.wikispaces.com/?p=5135 Today we are announcing that Wikispaces is no longer offering a free option for non-education wikis.

We are even more committed than ever to offering our free services for anyone in education, and we are building more and more great free functionality for teachers and others in education every day, but for anyone outside of education, Wikispaces is no longer offering a free option.

Existing wikis on Wikispaces that are not categorized as being used in education, have started displaying a banner that shows three options:

  1. If the wiki is being used in Pre-K, K-12, or Higher Education, you can choose the option to categorize your wiki as an education wiki. Once we verify that your wiki is being used in education, it will remain active and will be free going forward.
  2. If the wiki is not being used in education and you want to keep it, you may choose to upgrade your wiki to our Plus plan ($50 per year, or $5 per month) or our Super plan ($200 per year, or $20 per month). If you have several wikis you want to upgrade you may want to consider our Private Label service which gives you unlimited wikis with more integration and administrative options starting at $1,000 per year for 100 users.
  3. If you no longer wish to keep your wiki active, you may allow your wiki to expire and it will be deleted. If you would like to export the contents of your wiki you can download the contents of your wiki in wikitext, HTML, or PDF format.

We know this may come as frustrating news to many long term non-education users of Wikispaces but its an important decision for us as we move forward with our core mission of serving teachers and the broader education community. We hope that our $50 per year option is a good one for most people who would like to keep their non-education wiki on Wikispaces and we will of course do our best to help everyone through this transition.

If you have any questions or need our help please don’t hesitate to contact us at help@wikispaces.com

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Share Your #teaching Moment LIVE – Today! http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wikispaces/~3/aXF16nTYV8A/share-your-teaching-moment-live-today.html http://blog.wikispaces.com/2014/09/share-your-teaching-moment-live-today.html#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 16:00:55 +0000 http://blog.wikispaces.com/?p=5131 #teachingmoment

Join a LIVE Global Teaching Experiment today at 11am Mountain Time Zone!

We have a lot of excellent teachers around the world using Wikispaces in their classrooms RIGHT NOW and we’d love to hear how you’re using it .TES is asking teachers to share their #teachingmoment from their teaching day at 11am. Read more here and join in now!

There are 5 iPads to be won and it should paint an awesome picture of a day in the life of a teacher– we hope you’ll share and we’ll retweet your your teaching moment as well! Read the hashtag and join the global community of educators about their #teachingmoments.

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Welcome Amy to Wikispaces! http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wikispaces/~3/ZB9nkZWS17E/welcome-amy-to-wikispaces.html http://blog.wikispaces.com/2014/08/welcome-amy-to-wikispaces.html#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 21:32:30 +0000 http://blog.wikispaces.com/?p=5123 Amy

Hey, I’m Amy! I am one of the folks behind Blendspace, the easiest way to create and deliver online lessons. I’m super excited to join Wikispaces and TES Global because we all share the same goal of serving teachers. Together we will work together to create even more delight in teachers’ lives.

My journey in “ed-tech” began when I was a computer science student at the University of Southern California. I fell in love with technology at a young age and taught myself how to program when I was 11 years old. As one of the few girls in my classes, I knew if I wanted to get more girls interested in STEM, the best place to do that is in the classroom. So I spent time in the classrooms of Los Angeles teaching young girls math. Given my love for technology, the only way I knew how to make learning engaging was through the use of technology. I put together lessons with YouTube videos, online games, websites, etc. However, finding good resources was hard and putting them together was also a challenge… Have you ever tried to embed a YouTube video in a PowerPoint?!

After graduating from USC, I worked as a product manager on Microsoft Excel designing to make spreadsheets more intuitive for everyone, especially students. But after three years in the corporate world, I knew I wanted to get closer to the classroom. I remembered the struggles that I faced when I was with my students; I asked teachers if they were still struggling with finding engaging lesson material. With more technology in the classrooms, the answer was an overwhelming “yes”. So I convinced my Microsoft colleague, Gabriel Cebrian and others to quit and join me on this journey of helping teachers through technology.

It’s now been two years since we moved from Seattle to San Francisco to join Imagine K12, the first edtech incubator. We built Edcanvas, rebranded to Blendspace, served half a million teachers and students and now we are here at Wikispaces! It has been an incredible journey as a edupreneur.

I never knew I wanted to start a company, I just knew that I wanted to make an impact in the classroom. Blendspace was a great start. Now it’s time to time to build upon that strong foundation at Wikispaces.

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Teacher Collaboration: What It Can Create http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wikispaces/~3/g9CPt7JqsaI/teacher-collaboration-what-it-can-create-2.html http://blog.wikispaces.com/2014/08/teacher-collaboration-what-it-can-create-2.html#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 20:26:43 +0000 http://blog.wikispaces.com/?p=5118 This past school year, my mother retired after 25 years teaching in a K-8 school in New Hampshire. At her retirement party I found myself surrounded by her friends, most of them teachers who I’ve known for years. Several use Wikispaces, and one explained that a 2007 YouTube video called “Wikis in Plain English” was her first introduction into what a wiki could be used for. This four-minute video shows how a group of four friends prepare for a camping trip by collaborating on a wiki page. By listing the items they already have, and creating a list of what they still need to bring, they are able to decide who will bring what.

The same teacher recalled: “When I watched that short video in 2007, it quickly made sense what a wiki was useful for: quick and easy collaboration!” She then recounted how she used Wikispaces to create an exercise for her students, and how (again, in 2007) she was advised by her school’s administration to cease using wikis altogether. As she put it, wikis at that time were considered “a low-class teaching tool.” Over the past decade wikis have become powerful and commonplace tools, especially inside the classroom, so we all had a good laugh at that.

But her story brought up a good point: what does the future hold for wikis and teachers? Even more than currently takes place, the near future will see teachers collaborating with teachers to become better teachers.

The dictionary defines collaboration as: the action of working with someone to produce or create something. By definition, collaboration creates something. On the near horizon, there are at least three parts that will come together:


Classroom

When teachers collaborate on these platforms, what exactly is created? If you watched the 4-minute “Wikis in Plain English” video, you saw a very basic collaboration take place between four friends, and it was easy to see what was created: the camping group discussed the needs of the trip and created a list of needed items, then decided who would bring what. The discussions and lists eventually informed them: ‘we have everything we need; we’ll have a great trip.’

Similarly, teachers can collaborate to become informed about what content is the most relevant and effective. The syllabus provides teachers with a structure that helps them plan and execute their creative vision of education. Teachers from all over the world will share relevant content, rate the quality of content, and integrate new ideas into their classrooms. This collaboration, and the content being discussed, will help them build a story within the structure of their syllabus.

The specific value that is created lies in the quality of content and the number of choices provided to the teacher to ‘create their story’ with. That is the real creation of teachers collaborating. What we’re seeing now and will see more of in the future is teachers collaborating, in a way, with the content itself. Teachers will only continue to have even better resources and methods to teach those resources.

In the next post, we’ll look at teaching content that exists as a living document, continually edited and updated, and why this can be so valuable to students.

What is your school currently doing to facilitate teacher collaboration? Teachers, how have you collaborated with other teachers in the past? Please share your insights below.

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Welcome Sid to the Wikispaces Team http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wikispaces/~3/rDofvoifobk/welcome-sid-to-the-wikispaces-team.html http://blog.wikispaces.com/2014/08/welcome-sid-to-the-wikispaces-team.html#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:41:42 +0000 http://blog.wikispaces.com/?p=5108
SidHi, my name is Sid and I joined Wikispaces not to disrupt education. I’m here to build useful education tools (i.e., more “ed” than “tech”). My previous jobs were at Kiva.org (where I learned how passion can be channeled for social benefit), Oakland Unified School District (where I learned the meaning of access, and lack thereof), and Yahoo (where I learned how to serve a large global audience). I’m hoping my unique experiences can serve the tireless educators of the world.


As a former educator, I know teachers don’t want to do any more work than they already have to. Students, administrators, and parents sometimes naively don’t know (or, even, forget) how internally motivated teachers are to do their job. Folks trying to sell things to educators also forget that too. It has to be more than just packaging widgets with some cause-based rhetoric. If we at Wikispaces do our job right, the products we build will require less work by teachers to accomplish their goals. In short, we are trying to make it easier, in an era of unprecedented technology (and equally unprecedented gaps in access). It will take time, a lot of work, and a bunch of teachable moments, but, hopefully, with your help and advice, we’ll get there. If you read How to Succeed in Education by the founders of Wikispaces, then you’ll find that I’m working with a team that is inspired, hard-working, smart, yet, very patient.

As an engineer at Wikispaces, I’m here to build. I don’t mind doing more work than I have to because, one day, it’ll save time for those that need it more than me.


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It’s #edcamp Season! http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wikispaces/~3/3mr-j5PCk1U/its-edcamp-season.html http://blog.wikispaces.com/2014/07/its-edcamp-season.html#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:34:39 +0000 http://blog.wikispaces.com/?p=5096 It’s #edcamp season! What is an EdCamp? EdCamp is free, democratic, participant-driven professional development for teachers.


Twitter and the web is on fire with Edcamp sign-up announcements as many educators around the world prepare to go back to school. We’ve been supporters of EdCamp from the start. Adam (one of our company co founders) spoke at the first one in Philadelphia 4 years ago, and now over 500 have happened! We’re excited to highlight the Edcamp lineup for this school year and encourage folks to start their own using wikis!

Dan Callahan, one of the founders of Edcamp, and chairman of the Edcamp Foundation, gave us a few tips for using wikis to organize your EdCamp.

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First, head to edcamp.wikispaces.com. There, you’ll see a list of existing events. See one in your neighborhood? Click on it and register and start dreaming of the fun learning you’ll have! You can also start your own by simply adding a new page to the home page.

“A wiki is an excellent place to get started to promote things,” Dan says. “A lot of people go to your wiki to look for your event, so keep it up to date. Thanks to all the features and widgets, it’s also really easy to add maps and other useful information for those attending the event.” The main EdCamp wiki also houses valuable information on how to organize, finance, and implement your own Edcamp as well.

Why go?
Twitter

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Tips for Using Your Wiki

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Are You Going to or Organizing an EdCamp?

Let us know in the comments below or tweet us with your site at www.twitter.com/wikispaces, we’re happy to spread the word!

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Welcome Blendspace to the Wikispaces team http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wikispaces/~3/Wigb-qqMusc/welcome-blendspace-to-the-wikispaces-team.html http://blog.wikispaces.com/2014/07/welcome-blendspace-to-the-wikispaces-team.html#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:03:39 +0000 http://blog.wikispaces.com/?p=5090 blendspace-email-retinaWe’ve had the pleasure of knowing the team behind a great lesson building platform called Blendspace for a while now. They are super talented people who, a couple of years ago, decided to commit themselves to building products that would make a difference in the lives of teachers. And they’ve done a great job.

For those of you who haven’t used it, Blendspace is a beautiful and powerful tool for creating digital lessons that are tailored to students’ needs. The Blendspace team’s key insight was that teachers want to pull together different types of resources from different sources and turn them into lessons they can easily give to their students. And Blendspace has been used by half a million teachers and students worldwide so they’ve learned an enormous amount about how to help teachers do just that.

Of course passion for helping teachers and the development of great products by listening to those teachers are the two foundations of what we do at Wikispaces. In addition to that cultural fit, there’s a great product fit. We are currently working on making it easy to deploy the enormous number of resources TES teachers have shared with each other on the TES Resources platform. It is clear to us that the ability to use those resources in building fully formed lessons is going to be a super important part of what we want to build for teachers.

And so we decided that we wanted the Blendspace team to become part of the Wikispaces team and help us deliver on that vision. Thankfully they felt the same way and we’re thrilled to announce that Blendspace is now part of Wikispaces, and the broader TES Global family.

Blendspace, the product, will continue to operate and we have some great surprises for the passionate Blendspace users that you can read about on the Blendspace blog.

So leave a comment below to say hi to the Blendspace team, try out Blendspace for yourself, and if you’re interested in giving us feedback on what we’re working on together, drop us a note.

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#edtechchat on Mondays with Susan Bearden http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wikispaces/~3/2vR3bDlk3d0/edtechchat-on-mondays-with-susan-bearden.html http://blog.wikispaces.com/2014/07/edtechchat-on-mondays-with-susan-bearden.html#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:51:41 +0000 http://blog.wikispaces.com/?p=5082 Susan BeardenSusan M. Bearden is the Director of Information Technology at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, FL. As a technology leader, she strives to leverage technology to improve educational and business outcomes and provide teachers and students with the support, tools and training needed to help them become responsible digital citizens and 21st century learners. She has presented at a number of national and state conferences including ISTE, FETC, CoSN, and the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS). A frequent guest blogger, she is a contributing author to the Huffington Post and was ranked #9 on their list of “The 50 Most Social CIOs on Twitter.” Bearden co-founded and moderates #edtechchat and is a board member of Get Social Brevard. Connect with her on Twitter @s_bearden and @HTEATech or at www.susanmbearden.com

Wikispaces teachers are always exploring how to use technology in innovate new ways.When we find gems in the community like Susan Bearden, we are eager to share with you all how they are helping teachers find great learning opportunities! Susan is the co-moderator of the weekly #edtechchat that happens on Twitter every Monday evening at 8pm Eastern time.

#edtechchat

She joined us recently to share how #edtechchat was started, and how she uses an archive wiki to keep all of the great content in one place.

#edtechchat started in April 2013 from a need for an educational-technology specific Twitter chat. If you’ve never joined a Twitter chat experience, you can participate in several ways. For starters, you can view the stream during the week by searching #edtechchat and viewing and interacting with the contributions. You can also share a link or resource that is related to educational technology or the weekly topic. Finally, you can join the live conversation for the hour on Monday evenings 8pm Eastern time.

If none of these options work for you, Susan has made it very simple to view all of the great resources being shared weekly by hosting the edtechchat wiki! Simply head to edtechchat.wikispaces.com to view uploaded .pdf archives of each chat and learn about the bios of the founders.

#edtechchat

Get your archives each week off of the wiki page.

Susan and the moderator team are located all over the United States wikis help them to collaborate and easily clearly share responsibilities. Wikispaces was the first choice to host the archives because it’s easy to use, easy to maintain, and so helpful to distribute access to editing for an entire team!

Want to Try It?

If you have resources that need to be archived often, try out Susan’s simple method of creating a wiki, creating an archive page, adding a Table and uploading documents and resources for folks to quickly get. Make it collaborative by inviting several of your colleagues as Organizers of the wiki under the Members area. Make a new archive wiki now!

Archives

And if you are new to Twitter and #chats, be sure to check out Susan’s TweechMe app developed especially for teachers getting involved in Twitter and developing their personal learning network. Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions, and see you on Monday nights, all!

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How to Succeed at the EIA EdVentures Conference http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wikispaces/~3/YQjLjJxU_BQ/how-to-succeed-at-the-eia-edventures-conference.html http://blog.wikispaces.com/2014/07/how-to-succeed-at-the-eia-edventures-conference.html#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:27:29 +0000 http://blog.wikispaces.com/?p=5078 The good people at the Education Industry Association invited us to give a talk based on our How to Succeed In Ed-Tech article at their EdVentures conference in Newport Beach last week.

It was a real pleasure to be able to engage with a group of Ed-Tech entrepreneurs, some of whom were just starting out, to share our history and think about how we can all do a better job building solutions that help teachers and students.

I met some really passionate new entrepreneurs working on exactly these questions and came away inspired by the energy they are bringing to their ventures.

My takeaway after the session was that there is of course no one right answer to any of the hard questions and that the key part of finding your own success is knowing who you are and what you want.

The conversation about how to build Ed-Tech companies we can be proud needs to be ongoing. Thanks to the EIA for making it a central part of their conference this year.

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Get Your Class in Your Wiki Painlessly: New Join Code for Your Students http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wikispaces/~3/KavU_Q2Z_l8/get-your-class-in-your-wiki-painlessly-new-join-code-for-your-students.html http://blog.wikispaces.com/2014/07/get-your-class-in-your-wiki-painlessly-new-join-code-for-your-students.html#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:38:57 +0000 http://blog.wikispaces.com/?p=5060 You asked, and we listened! Announcing the arrival of one of the most requested features of all time, this blog post explains how to use a Join Code to make joining a wiki easier for students.

Try it out and let us know what you think!  Step by step directions below.

Join Meme

Here’s how to use a Join Code. 

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Go to Members at the top right of your page. Then you’ll see the Join Code option. Press Create Code.

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Woo hoo! Now you’ve got yourself a 7-character code that lets other Wikispaces users join your wiki easily.

Full CodeThen, your students can simply go to the address where they will be prompted to log in and automatically become members of that wiki. If the students do not have accounts yet, they can either go to your wiki address, or the Join Code address. They will then be prompted to create an account and also put in your Join Code. Then they will become a member of Wikispaces.com AND of your wiki!

Join - Member

If your students already have accounts, they will automatically become a member when they go to the Join Code page address you receive.

Join - Has Code

If your students just go to your wiki address, then they will be prompted to go to the “Join page” to input the code.

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As a note, the code currently lasts one week and then you’ll need to add it again. You can also disable the code anytime you’d like. It shows up under “Members” as well as on the top of your wiki as long as it’s active.

Code
We were excited to see it in practice at ISTE (International Society of Technology in Education) this past month at Vicki Davis’ Wonderful World of Wikis hands-on session! Below, Eric from our team helps moderate the backchannel as dozens of eager educators used the join code to easily gain access to Vicki’s resource site!

Eric at ISTE

Let us know how it goes in the comments below. Have you tried the Join Code feature yet? For what class? And how have your students liked it? We look forward to hearing from you!

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