The Wikispaces Classroom

The all in one collaboration tool. Works like an LMS, but incorporates co-writing, and co-editing to foster a collaborative learning environment. 

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By Alysha Doria

Overview

Wikispaces classroom allows you to create a safe and private space to connect, communicate and collaborate with your students. The Wikispaces Classroom uses a Wiki allowing students to co-write and contribute to course content. The Wikispace creates a student-centered environment where students are accountable for their own learning process and engaged in active learning. The Wikispace is particularly useful when integrating problem-based learning into the curriculum.

Getting Started

Signing up for Wikispaces is EASY! And using it in the classroom is even easier. Wikispaces provides a set of educational resources to help teachers use the specific tools tailored to education. Wikispaces also has a YouTube Channel which provides overviews and tutorials on how to use the Wikispaces classroom.

Teaching Ideas

Idea 1- Write Collaboratively 

Who doesn’t want to write a story together? Students can Co-write, Co-edit and fact-check each other’s work when writing a wiki page collectively. Collaborative writing allows the students to construct their own knowledge and can even improve writing skills! Collaborative writing is especially useful in problem-based learning environments

Idea 2– Share and Store Resources 

The days of “Where did I see that document?” are gone! The Wikispace classroom allows you to share files, documents, articles, news stories (and pretty much anything else you can think of) with your students. The best part? They can share them with you too.

Idea 3- Discussion, Discussion, Discussion 

I know what you’re thinking: “Asynchronous discussion? How boring” but on the contrary. Students are able to use discussions similar to a social news feed. Posts can be answering a question you have posted or asking questions to you and their peers. Either way, it is a simple way for them to communicate as a classroom, just don’t forget to participate with them.

Helpful Resources

Cost and Alternatives

You can sign up for Wikispaces Classroom for free. Wikispaces also has a campus version which starts at $1,000.00/year for up to 100 users. This is for schools that wish to have an institution wide wiki. If you are looking to increase your user count you can have unlimited users for the cost of $2,000.00/year but only for K-12 environments. If you are a higher education institution, the cost for unlimited users increases to $6,000.00/year!

Alternatively, if the Wikispace Classroom is not for you, you can try using PB Works. They have a free basic account for educators which allows for 1 Wiki workspace, 2 GB of storage and free customer support. They also have a paid version which has more features such as 40 GB of storage, 100 user limit, Custom security and custom personalization settings for $99/year (this is still only one wiki) or if you would like 1000 user and unlimited wikis, you can opt for the $799/ year option.

Lastly, there is Google Sites. This google application works with all other Google applications as part of your google drive. You can turn on and off sites for viewing and collaborating and manage the way the site is shared. Google sites is free with your Gmail account.

Author: alyshadoria

Alysha Doria works in the private career college sector in Ontario for Herzing College. She is currently Regional Director of Compliance for Ontario locations and an Academic Director for immigration consultant online and Kompass Professional Development (a subsidiary of Herzing). Her primary focus is curriculum development for Kompass. She seeks to develop certificate programs that allow individuals advance their skills in their field. In the last year, Alysha has developed three professional development certificate programs and has gone through two accreditation processes for Immigration Consultant and Mediation. Recently, Alysha has been promoted to a Systems Administrator for Academics where she participates in technological developments, diffusion of technology into the organization, and assists in streamlining academic processes Canada wide.

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