Getting Your Classroom Up and Running

We’re very excited to be reading your tweets, blog comments, and emails about how you’re getting started with Wikispaces Classroom. We wanted to share with you a few basic steps to get your online classroom up and running without too much work. Note: if you are a Private Label customer, Wikispaces Classroom features will be rolling out in the coming weeks so we can get things just right for you!

Starting with your Existing Site

We know many of our users have amazing Wikispaces.com and Wikispaces Private Label sites already set up and running effectively. The first step to trying out Wikispaces Classroom is going into your Settings and switching it to Classroom mode. Remember once you switch, Settings will be up top on your Organizer Bar.

Basic Wikispaces Page

Basic Wikispaces Page

Now you’ll notice a few things change. First your theme will be standardized. For the moment, all Wikispaces Classrooms have this simple theme so that we can guarantee a really good user experience and you and your students can focus on your work.

Settings

To change to Classroom, simply go to Settings.

None of your data will be lost in the change and you can always change back. We hope you’ll love the new environment, though, and look forward to any feedback you have that will help us make the transition even easier.

Preparing Your Students

While many of your students may be tech-savvy, they’ll still need to learn the norms of your online classroom to maximize their learning time on the site. The first thing you’ll need to do, of course, is get them there! If you don’t already have accounts for students, you can easily create them under Settings-User Creator.

User Creator

Make your student accounts with User Creator.

Since Wikispaces Classroom is a social environment, we encourage teachers to have students create avatars that represent themselves the first day. There are many fun avatar creators out there, like the Simpsons Ride creator we used, and you can find one suitable for your class with a quick online search for “avatar creator.”

To get started, simply have your students click on their username in the top right of the page and then click on Settings. After that, they can click “Change picture” to upload their picture. Teachers, don’t forget to make one for yourself! It all adds to the creation of motivation and community in your Wikispaces Classroom.

Profile

Easily add a picture to your profile.

Setting Up Your Newsfeed

Last week, we highlighted how the Newsfeed works– it’s the new homepage for your Wikispaces Classroom. Now that your students are created and have avatars, you’re ready to give them something to do!

Starting a Discussion is easy– think of a question you’d like the whole class to respond to. It could be homework and something they respond to before coming into class, or perhaps it’s a mid-class break where you’d like to collect all of their feedback. Whatever the question, post it and watch your students easily respond! All Discussions on the News Feed continue to aggregate here, so you can start new ones, go back to old, and Monitor or Lock your posts. Best of all, students can pose their own questions for the class, and then see their classmates’ thoughts on their questions.

Newsfeed

Setting up norms with your Newsfeed.

The next step is to plan for your Discussions— when will you post, when will students be expected to post, and what are acceptable comments? We have seen Wikispaces teachers create wonderful lessons for preparing students to collaboratively write and can’t wait to hear how you prepare them for the News Feed. A good rule of thumb is to allow for practice and modeling of great comments and potentially allowing for online participation to figure into your assessments.

We hope these are helpful for your first steps into Wikispaces Classroom– the easiest part is just switching it on in Settings. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be highlighting other ways to get started– stay tuned for Projects!

Please watch more on our archived Wikispaces Classroom Demo and Tour or sign up for an upcoming live tour. Once you make your Classroom, we’d love it if you’d join our #wclassroom Challenge on Twitter! Simply tweet out your Classroom and how you’re using it with #wclassroom. Don’t have Twitter? Comment below.

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40 Comments

  1. Aniratak
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    I was thrilled to read about your new classroom wiki variety. However, after creating a new wiki of this type for one of my German courses I found that only about half of the headings actually appear in my default language German – the rest remains in English. Is there any way of fixing this?

  2. wendy
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Hi Aniratak,

    Could you email us more information and a screenshot to help@wikispaces.com and we can look into for you? Thanks!

  3. Madamediotte
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    When I try to change my Wiki to classroom, it asks me for the country & school name, which I provide, but then it says: There was an error saving your information.

  4. Posted April 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Madamediotte,

    Can you send us an email with the details of what you’re putting in? We’ll get that fixed. help@wikispaces.com

  5. cjts
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    why don’t I have the option under my settings to change to classroom mode?

  6. wendy
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Are you on a Private Label account? If so, that won’t be an option until next month.

  7. giselle
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    hi,
    i have just joined, i have been trying to get an edmodo site up and running for my students. Can wikispace do everything edmodo can do? Eg set up quiz, etc??
    Thanks for your support. This is my year to “get tech-savvy”!
    non-standard

  8. Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I am running a wiki for Project-based Learning with over 100 participants since 3-4 years.
    Question: is it possible to see the engagement of the students also in a ‘normal’ Wiki, without turning the Wiki in a classroom?
    That would be very interesting for my research.
    Thx

    Michele

  9. Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    I did some trial and changed my wiki (see link above) in a classroom Wiki. The navigation bar changed totally and it was very difficult to edit it (I found the edit button for the navigation bar, but I could not add specific links and edit deliberately)
    It would be helpful if I could do so.

    Another suggestion: It may be helpful to being able to change the start page: Means: not having the news-feed as start page but the regular Wiki page (with the option to display the news feed or an Icon which changes color, when somethin happened on the news page)
    THX

    Michele

  10. wendy
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Hi Michele, Great question. Unfortunately, Assessments is only a tool for Classroom. If you’d like, you can always switch on Classroom and view their engagement and turn it back if you need to, but we think you’ll love the features enough to keep it on! Keep up the amazing work, and to switch it on– even temporarily– go to “Settings” and then “Classroom.”

  11. wendy
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Hey Michele, Glad you tried it out. The Navigation Bar for Classroom is designed to be more simple as we found some folks were changing it on accident or breaking it. With Classroom, we wanted to be able to let you simply focus on making pages and reordering them or tagging them. I suggest adding Tags and then turning off “All Pages” under “Edit Navigation” and letting those set up your navigation. Thanks for your feedback!

  12. wendy
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Hi Giselle! Congratulations on your goal this year, you certainly are on your way with these tools! Wikis are a bit different in that they provide robust editing spaces for multiple people– Classroom simply gives you an overlay of communication and assessment on top of it. You can use a variety of third party quiz systems within Wikispaces, but we hope you also try out Assessments, which is a more formative and comprehensive look at assessing student understanding.

  13. Posted April 30, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Like, Michele, the navigation is giving me some trouble. The wiki I created is mostly blank. I’m mostly helping other teachers get there new Classroom wikis running smoothly.

    We’ve set up a project and assigned students to teams. Students teams are successfully editing their own pages. We have figured out how to change the page permissions so that all students can see the pages, but only team members can edit their own pages. (love that feature)

    What we can’t seem to do is find a direct way to allow students to view all of the pages. The only option seems to be to scroll through all entries under “Pages and Files” and have them select pages to view. I’d like them to show up in the navigation bar but I see now that my options for editing that bar are limited. I’ve tagged the pages and added the tag to the navigation bar but the pages still don’t show up.

    The tools are powerful. I’m just having a rather large learning curve.

  14. Bobbi
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I have been playing around with the new classrooms and I am very excited about the new features. However, I am not ready to give up the creativity and flexibility of my wiki. Currently, I really enjoy being able to organize my navigation bar under themed titles (as opposed to the new “tags” method.”) I don’t necessarily want them to wade through numerous pages under a “History” tag – rather, I would like to direct them to certain “main pages.”

    I would love if you would consider, in the future, giving us the option of which type of navigation bar we would like to use.

  15. Posted May 3, 2013 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    It is great to create my classroom in kiwispace. However, I can’t add students by user creator as there is no such button as shown, How could I do it?

    thanks?

  16. Rhonda Coleman
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I already have a wikispace – pretty sure it is “educators” and not Private Label. I cannot find the “change to classroom mode” anywhere in settings!! Right now I am using my iPad, could that be the problem? Additionally, I have 2 wikis, & would like to delete one of them.
    HELP!!!!

  17. wendy
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Hi Rhonda! Could you please email us at help@wikispaces.com and we can help you in detail? Thanks!

  18. Nancy
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Is there an Android app for wikispaces?

  19. Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Hey, i need help. i don’t know how to create my classroom in here.
    help me~tim@mandarinmorning.com

  20. Kari
    Posted May 11, 2013 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    How secure is the Classroom Wiki for students, specifically, if a student posts a link from the wiki to a social networking site, is it then accessible to the public? Email?

  21. wendy
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Hi Kari, Wikispaces Classroom follows whatever Permissions settings you place on it. So if you want it to be Private for members (students) only, then no one else can access that information. It is, however, an editable webpage, so just like any other tool you’ll need to instruct students about what is appropriate to paste onto their pages if you give them editing rights. Feel free to email us at help@wikispaces.com if you need anything else.

  22. wendy
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Hi there Tim! Can you email us more at help@wikispaces.com and we’d be happy to help?

  23. wendy
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Hi Nancy! We’re currently working on enhancing our mobile offerings. More soon!

  24. wendy
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Hi Jim! Go to “Settings” and then “Members” and you’ll see User Creator there. Let us know how it goes!

  25. wendy
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the feedback Bobbi! We did have quite a few folks give us feedback that they often broke their navigation under the Wikispaces basic format, so we wanted to provide a cleaner option. We hope you’ll give tags a try!

  26. wendy
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Hi Jennifer! Thanks for your feedback, and so glad you’re trying Projects. Can you make it to one of our upcoming webinars to learn more? help.wikispaces.com/webinars We hope to see you there! If you click “Edit Navigation” under the “Pages” icon, you can choose “All Pages” for students to see. Let us know if that works! You can also email help@wikispaces.com for speedy assistance.

  27. Posted May 15, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible to copy pages from one wikispace I own to another? I have multiple sections of one course, and the courses need to be separate since they meet on different days.

  28. Tristen
    Posted May 16, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Hi, the wikispaces text editor is always very, very funky, and rarely works like a normal, so I was wondering fixing/changing it, to work more like a normal, forums-esque text editor. Thank you :D

  29. wendy
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Hi Tristen! Please feel free to email us more details as to what’s happening at help@wikispaces.com— we’re happy to help!

  30. wendy
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Hey Kay, sure you have several options– feel free to email us for more details at help@wikispaces.com.

  31. Posted June 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering if it is possible to have my wiki open to the welcome page and not the News Feed. I can’t change the news feed page and I would like to customize the page that my students will first encounter when they go on my wiki.

  32. wendy
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    Hi Miguelina– currently the default is the Newsfeed, but we certainly see your idea! We’ll forward it on to the engineers. Thanks, and feel free to share your page once you’ve got it goin’!

  33. Posted July 1, 2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I am in the same position as Jim. I can’t add students as members to my wiki… there is no user creator option. Should I go back to my original wiki first then change back to classroom?

    Also, while I’m here, I also like Miguelina’s idea of being able to choose the default opening page.

  34. wendy
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Hi Betsy,

    Great comments, and we’ll definitely share that feature request with our team. For your members issue, can you email help@wikispaces.com? Thanks!

  35. Posted July 2, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Wendy,
    Thanks for your quick reply. I figured it out. If I click on “members” then on “invite people” I have a choice at the bottom of the new window that opens up to “switch to bulk user creator”. From there I can upload my cvs file. Yay!

  36. Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    My wiki is set up as a classroom but I don’t have a user creator tool anywhere in my settings. I sent an email to help@wikispaces.com last week but still waiting for resolution. In the mean time I was hoping that somebody here could venture a guess as to what’s going on.

  37. wendy
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi Barry! There may have been a delay due to the holiday. Can you go under “Settings” in your top right corner? From there, you’ll see “User Creator” on the lefthand side.

  38. Posted July 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Nope it’s not there. When I click on ‘settings’ in the top right corner, I have the following along the left hand side:

    INFO
    About
    Storage

    SETTINGS
    General
    Permissions
    Domain Name
    External Calendars
    Exports/Backups
    Delete Wiki

    LOOK & FEEL
    Themes and Colors

    STATISTICS
    Overview
    Pages
    Members

  39. Leslie
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I have several questions regarding Classroom.
    1. How do I create a project for just 1 student?? Or do I make a page for that?
    2. Why can students on their page see the recent changes that I have made to the Wiki space? Is there a way to keep them from seeing that, as well as all the files I upload for pages that are simply pictures?
    3. I’ve been working on one of my pages and the news feed at the top as gone away. It is still in classroom mode so I’m not sure what I have done.

  40. wendy
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Hey Leslie! Great question– you simply go to “Projects” and then name the Team that students name and give permissions as Private to you and that student. They then see their page and you see it under projects.

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