Teachers are busy. Students are busy. Managing 30-to-150 of them and their work in the classroom can take a lot of extra time that could be spent planning engaging lessons. Our new free product, Wikispaces Classroom, helps teachers be more productive by saving time managing and organizing student information. We’d like to introduce you to The News Feed.
We know that comments, messages, and discussions can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of all of your great wiki pages. The News Feed is your Classroom Homepage and has some helpful features to keep you and your students on track in a simple and engaging way. This is a stream of information from you and all students on your Wiki, including Discussions, Projects, and Events. Students can reply on each thread, making for easy and instant communication. You can even enable Email Notifications to stay on top of things as soon as possible.
Projects are a great feature that have been a part of Wikispaces for a while, and with the Wikispaces Classroom News Feed, we think it will be even simpler for you to create and manage them. Directly from the News Feed, you can choose “Project,” enter a description, and a start date and an end date, and then you are immediately taken to create a Project.
Looking for ideas? Think of anything in your class that you would assign your students, either individually or collaboratively– a Literature Circle Book Group, a research page for a writing project — and you can create it from the News Feed and track its progress from the Projects menu.
Best of all, from the News Feed, you can choose who to direct a Discussion to by Project, making it easy for you to send information to each group. This is a great way to have one Wiki for your course, but different Teams for each of your classes and/or projects and communicate with them separately.
Events and Calendar
Check out the Calendar Feature, top and center, highlighting upcoming Assignments and Events that you plan for students. In addition to Discussions and Projects, you now can easily create Events on the News Feed. Events then appear on the Calendar tool, which includes a list of the next few upcoming Events and Projects as well as a traditional calender view. The Calendar is particular to each student, so they’ll only see items that are applicable to them.
And of course, your regular wiki Pages are still there, on the top right, for you to make classroom subject-based wikis and resources just like before.
Want to get started? Simply choose “Wikispaces Classroom” when you create a new wiki, or go to “Settings” and change your Wiki Type to Classroom to convert your current wiki.
Stay tuned this week as we highlight more Wikispaces Classroom news and features, and register for a live webinar tour here.