Wikispaces is no longer offering free non-education wikis

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

Posted in Wikispaces | 35 Responses

Share Your #teaching Moment LIVE – Today!

#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.

Posted in Wikispaces | 2 Responses

Welcome Amy to Wikispaces!

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.

Posted in Wikispaces | 3 Responses

Teacher Collaboration: What It Can Create

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.

Posted in Classroom, Collaboration | 12 Responses

Welcome Sid to the Wikispaces Team


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.


Posted in Wikispaces | Leave a comment
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