Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wikispaces Keeps on Giving to Education

I have been waiting for Adam Frey from Wikispaces to make the announcement this week. Already, the 100,000 free wikis given away over the past 2 years has expired, and the last 20,000 went VERY quickly. So, what next? Start charging? No!

Wikispaces, led by Adam have shown their full commitment to supporting education and teachers by continuing to provide free, advertisement free, collaborative spaces for K-12 - and in fact there are 250,000 more wikis up for grabs as of today! Thanks Adam and Wikispaces!

From their blog:

250,000 More K-12 Wikis
Like the first 100,000, all of our K-12 wikis feature all the benefits of our Plus service:

  • full privacy, only the people you allow in can see your wiki
  • no advertising, your online classroom will remain ad-free
  • unlimited use, as many users, pages, edits, and files, as you like, no limits
  • a customizable look and feel, so you can make it feel like home

You’re welcome to start as many K-12 wikis as you like. Have 10 classes? Start 10 wikis! Want one for your PTA, your school library, or anything else at your school? Start another one!

The offer is worldwide and is available for any wiki that is used exclusively for K-12 (primary and secondary) education.

So, if you want a wiki go straight to Wikispaces for Educators. Also, share your wikispaces in education stories and also join the online celebration with Steve Hargadon and Classroom 2.0 this Thursday.

What I really like about using wikispaces:
  • Excellent online support - wikispaces has an amazing record for prompt and useful online support. I know if there is an issue with a wiki (myself, a colleague or a student) we can email Adam and the team and within 24 hours we have a response and a solution! It is really that simple.
  • The WYSIWYG editing and page layout - I love being able to easily make each wiki look distinctive by starting with a basic template and working with colour combinations, and if I feel adventurous going in to work with the CSS code
  • Easy for students to start editing - All of our students at Qatar Academy in Grades 6-10 this year are setting up a personal wiki as a digital portfolio. We piloted this last year with Grade 8, this year the entire MYP school will set this up. This will be a way for the Community and Service achievements to be documented, discussed and reflected on. It will also be a place for students to work with Web 2.0 tools and learn essential skills for collaborative learning and online interaction
  • A quick-fix publishing tool for teachers - to publish curriculum, create a global project, establish a place for an extra-curricular group or communicate with the school community. In fact at Qatar Academy we now have our own Private Label wikispaces account Yes, this does cost some money, but it is great value as we can create unlimited wikis under the one umbrella and control all users. So not only are students starting wikis but teachers in all areas of the school are getting into the act.
  • Able to run a wiki-centric classroom - For a couple of years now I have run a classroom that is wiki-centric. This year I do not have my own classes as such but my spaces are still all up there. See the ITGS wiki, the Qatar Academy IT wiki, the Digital Citizenship wiki (this is pre-Digiteen Project)

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