Featured Wiki: Granite School District Edtech Monthly Newsletter

Granite School District Wiki NewsletterGranite School District in Utah shares how they use Wikispaces as a newsletter to keep their teachers and administrators updated about all things edtech.

1. Please describe your district, your wiki, and what you use it for.
The Granite School District located in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the third largest school district in Utah and is one of the largest in the nation. We have over 3,500 teachers and 200 administrators across 63 elementary schools, 16 Jr. high schools and 8 high schools.

In 2011, the Educational Technology Department started using Wikispaces as a monthly newsletter for our teachers and administrators. We normally list 4-8 news items each month including professional development registrations for tech classes, techy teacher spotlights, grant information, and other events. We also share our favorite online resources for the classroom.

2. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why we use wikis!” 
Wikispaces was exactly the thing for us because it’s easy to do everything we needed for a newsletter. Adding images, text and other files, hyperlinking, creating new pages, tracking the number of wiki visitors are a breeze. We can keep archive of old newsletters simply by consolidating their wiki pages in the Navigation Menu. Anchors are critical to our format and simple to use. Embedding Twitter feeds works in Wikispaces, but not always in other web tools. Lastly, the Wikispaces format stays consistent, so no big surprises to throw us off.

3. What advice do you have for schools and districts that would like to use wikis to communicate with their educators?
Show how to use new edtech tools in your newsletter by embedding training videos from Youtube in your wiki. Spotlighting exemplary educators provides the acknowledgment they deserve and helps to inspire others. Other tips:

  • Educators are busy, so keep news items short and to the point.
  • Make news items visual with hyperlinked images, pictures and video.
  • Send it out around the same time each month and monitor the best days and times to send it out.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread and check your links!
  • Keep an archive (we often hear that teachers like to refer back to older items).

4. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you and your school?
It would say that we do our best to to keep educators updated about resources and opportunities that will help them integrate technology into the classroom and make learning fun and meaningful for students.

 

 

 

 

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Featured Wiki: Newton Barwa Academy Homework Page

Newton Barwa wiki 2Newton Barwa Academy in Qatar shares about how they use their wiki to improve parent communication, save the environment and foster a bit of friendly competition among their teachers.

1. Please describe your school, your wiki, and what you use it for.
We are an International School from Foundation 1 to year 10 with over 2,000 students. We have three campuses and a huge international community.

We decided to use Wikispaces in the primary grades in order to become a paper-free homework school. We were conscious of the high cost of printing and photocopying homework assignments and the impact of so much paper on the environment. We post on our wiki homework assignments, timetable, curriculum, and school activities. Communication to our parents is always a priority. By setting up a wiki, we can communicate more effectively. Information is accessible to all, instead of being buried at the bottom of school bags.

2. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why we use wikis!” 
My first aha moment is when some parents said to me “Thank you! My son/daughter used to tell me that they do nothing in school. Now thanks to Wikispaces, I can see what they’re doing.” The second aha moment is a real turnaround in those children who did not do homework, either because they lost the handout or simply did not inform their parents. We have seen an impact on academic achievement. Another aha moment is the creativity of our teachers! Putting together the best wiki page has become a bit of a friendly competition.

3. What do you plan to do next with your wiki?
We want put up on our wiki documents and policies for the parents such as our School Uniform, Attendance, and School Handbook. Although our school website has all this information, Wikispaces is more user friendly.

4. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you and your school?
I think our wiki would say that we want to work as a team with our parents – that we care and share openly with them. It would also say that we want their child to be given every opportunity to succeed.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Classroom, Community, Education, Featured Wiki | Comments closed

Looking for hands-on projects and innovative classrooms!

We’re always looking for new content, but this month we’d love wikis and resources about hands-on projects and innovative classroom. By December 2nd, share your best hands-on project or any innovative classroom resource in the comment section of this blog post. We’ll share your resources with the rest of the Wikispaces and TES community.

Check out for anti-bullying and classroom management resource collections on Pinterest you’ve contributed to previously – they’re a hit!

Posted in Wikispaces | Comments closed

Want to go to SXSWedu?

SXSWedu16

Have you discovered a creative way to innovate the classroom experience? If so, show us on social media using #TESInnovates and you can win a badge to attend SXSWedu (worth $495), March 7-10, 2016 in Austin, TX! We’re giving away 100 badges to SXSWedu.

We encourage educators to be creative and capture your innovative techniques. Photos and videos are highly encouraged. Please share your social media post by December 11th. It must be public and contain the #TESInnovates hashtag to be considered.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. TES Innovative Educators Scholarship to SXSWedu Official Rules.

 

Posted in Wikispaces | Comments closed

Happy hour with CUE SF

CUE SF

We’re excited to host happy hour in our office this Thursday 11/12, 4:30-6:30pm with CUE San Francisco! We’ll demo how you can use Wikispaces and Blendspace for blended learning over drinks and appetizers. Meet our team and network with CUE SF members and other educators in the SF area. SFUSD teachers, you can get 1 hour of extended hours pay using the Prop A professional development funds.

Sign up now before space runs out!

What: Blended learning happy hour with us and CUE SF (event agenda)

When: Thursday 11/12, 4:30-6:30pm

Where:  165 10th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

We hope to see you there!

 

 

Posted in Company, Education, Wikispaces | Comments closed
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