Wikispaces Classroom Goes Back to School

A few minutes ago we launched a substantial update to Wikispaces Classroom, the just-for-education product we debuted back in the spring. The update is live now for everyone who has a Classroom wiki on Wikispaces.com as well as our customers in schools, school districts, and universities who use Wikispaces Campus.

Wikispaces-Classroom

If you’re a teacher or student who’s not yet using Classroom, try it out! It’s free forever on Wikispaces.com just like always, and we’ve removed many of the obstacles that made it difficult to transition. Go to Settings > General and change your wiki type. It’ll take just a second and you can always change back. We currently only support one theme for Classroom, but we encourage you to give it a day or two — we think you’ll like it.

Like everything we do, the new features you’ll find today in Wikispaces Classroom were a direct result of the feedback we heard from you here on our blog, on Twitter, by email, by phone, and talking to you in person. We think you’ll like what you see, and if you don’t, now you know five different ways to send us your thoughts!

Here’s what’s new:

1. Content Creation Comes First

Wikispaces-Classroom-Content-Strip

You’ll notice a new area on both your home page and at the top of the navigation bar on all pages. It contains quick links for starting new wiki pages, uploading files, adding discussions, and creating projects and events if you’re an organizer. The feedback we heard loud and clear in our first revision of Wikispaces Classroom was that it took too many clicks to get right to the heart of what a wiki is all about: writing, sharing, discussing.

2. Home Page on your… Home Page!

The contents of your wiki’s home page now appear above the news feed. This is a great place to give a brief introduction to your class or to link to important resources elsewhere in your wiki. If you’re moving from an existing wiki this might be a good excuse to pare down the content on your home page so that your members can get to the news feed without too much scrolling!

3. The Return of Custom Navigation

Want more than our tag-based list of pages? You can now include any wiki page contents on your sidebar navigation by clicking “edit navigation.” If you are moving from an existing wiki, your current navigation will come over exactly as it is.

4. Project Placards

Wikispaces-Classroom-PlacardWe’ve made navigating between projects and understanding what context you’re in much easier to understand. “Pages and Files” and “Recent Changes” are now pulled up into a placard that tells you where you are. You’ll see a placard for every project you belong to as well as the current project if you’re not a member.

5. Flattening the Calendar

While some of our power-users might have enough events to warrant the full-size calendar on the home page, most did not. If you have upcoming events they will now appear in a strip across the top of the home page contents. Click for detail or click the calendar icon for the full-size calendar view.

We hope you like these changes. There’s much more to come this fall — stay tuned!

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27 Comments

  1. Rachel
    Posted August 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I have to say I am really loving wikispaces classroom. I like the news feed, I like the projects, I like the events calendar, and it’s just even better than a regular wiki. I appreciate that you’ve added back the increased navigation. The button to easily add pages is awesome too. (As an aside, though, it’s a bit weird/confusing that I can click the “add discussion” button while on a page in my website and it creates a discussion post on the main page rather than the page I’m currently on.)

    However, I really do NOT like that you’ve taken away the calendar on the main page. It – along with the news feed – was the main reason I switched over. It allowed me to organize my students much more easily and inform them of upcoming events. The news feed was great for that purpose too. Now, while I could easily deal with the news feed getting pushed way down the page by transferring my home page to a different page on the wiki, I can’t fix you disappearing the calendar.

    I teach middle schoolers. One of the reasons I loved the calendar was because it was RIGHT there whenever they clicked their bookmark to my site. Now, it’s barely there, and you’re lucky if even two words describing the events are visible; that basically makes it pointless. The kids are just going to scroll right by. I don’t want my students to have to click to another page to visit the calendar…the kids that need the calendar the most are not going to do that. It would be really great if you could give us the option of having the calendar on the main page or not. People who didn’t have events didn’t have the calendar appear…it was great that it did appear for those of us who did use it.

  2. Posted August 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    @Rachel – Glad you’re liking Classroom! Your comment on the discussion button is spot-on. We’ve been debating that issue at the office and are considering a few different fixes. Regarding the calendar, I think we’ve got a solution for you as well. I’ll follow up by email. Thanks!

  3. Rachel
    Posted August 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    @James-

    Thanks for the quick reply. I will be looking forward to your email. Thank YOU! :)

  4. Peter
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I like the site, and I’m going to try to use it this year. But can we be able to attach files to posts in the News Feed. This is huge. I post updates using the Newsfeed, and most of the time those updates include handouts.

  5. laura bertens
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I’ve been watching tutorials and reading info pages on the possibilities of wikispaces for the last few days now and really really love the system. I’m setting up a wiki for my MA students and am figuring out the logistics. I would like to set up different ‘teams’ (each team would consist of one student) within a project, or different projects for each of the students, for that matter; it doesn’t really make a difference, I just want each student to have their own wiki space to fill with their project. But i really want the students to be able to see the projects of other students. Now I know this must be possible, since there are different permission settings for this (which I’ve all tried), but whatever I do I cannot seem to work it in such a way that a student can find other project or teams, through the navigation bar on the right or any other way. I’m testing it with second account and my ‘test student’ can only see and navigate to her own project team page. How can I fix this? Thanks in advance!

  6. laura bertens
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    btw, could it be that this was in fact possible yesterday? cos I seem to have made some comments from my test account in team projects that my test account was not a team member of. I vaguely remember accessing these team pages through the ‘changes’ button in the placcard of that particular project in the navigation box; this gave me a list, I think, of all changes, not just of the teams the test account was enrolled in, but of all the others as well, making it possible to visit and comment on them. Could this be the case or did I just dream that after one too many tutorial? (if that in fact was not possible, it prompts the question: how did my test user’s comments end up on other account’s team pages?). Thanks again in advance!

  7. Posted August 30, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed working with you and your students. I learned a lot…… but not enough to be dropped in the middle of Mexico. Thank you so much Senora Giglios.

    Sincerely,
    Mr.D

  8. Posted September 4, 2013 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    I love wikispaces

  9. sarah ritter
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Please publish all ways the rest of us can get the calendar back – loud and clear- on the first page. Thank you.

  10. Naseem
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    wikispace is very good for teacher and student.

  11. Nikki Harrison
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I run a wiki for a primary class and following your mail I would like to change my wiki to Wikispaces Classroom. As per instructions, I went to Settings and General but then? How do I change the wiki type please. Thanks.

  12. Jessica
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    So I’m very new to wikis and have a project that I want to do with my students. I’m wondering if it makes sense to do a classroom wiki with a link to a project or just make our own individual wiki for this particular project. We are studying history of segregation in chicago and wanted to create a wiki with each group adding their portion of the history along with photos, links, etc. Which is the best way to use wikis?

  13. Tama Trotti
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    HI, I want my parents to just view the wiki, but not add to it, how do I do this?
    thank you.
    Tama Trotti

  14. john
    Posted September 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    I am really confused about the “discuss” button. At the bottom of the pop-up it says “post in”… with a dropdown of possible pages to post to. However, it always posts to the main home page no matter what I select. The only way to get the discussion on the appropriate page is to put it in the embedded discuss box at the bottom, rather than click the “discuss” button. What does the “post in” dropdown do? Also, any replies I post under my original post to the main homepage just disappear. Any help appreciated.

  15. Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Thanx very much for connecting class rooms indeed ICT is the Driving tool to Development SiSTec support

  16. Deb
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate being able to use this wiki free since I’m an educator. So many times we have to buy things with our own money. But this is something that is very helpful to me and my students. I use it strictly for linking sites for my 4th and 5th graders. In class now, it’s so easy for me to tell my kids to go to my wiki and click on a specific link. Before, I had to wait until everyone typed in the correct site. And that took a long time, usually.
    I do miss the option of the notebook background.
    Thank you!

  17. Posted September 8, 2013 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    I am teaching 3 classes in Grade 7 the same subject. As the content is the same for the 3 classes I want to use 1 wiki and have 3 classes with their own members. How can I do this?
    regards
    Madden

  18. Posted September 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Hoping those Project Placard designs get rolled into other wiki types. The extra space is a huge improvement!
    jm

  19. Posted September 10, 2013 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    This is quite interesting. Am learning how to use wikis in my class and this will promote e-learning in Africa when used creatively in class.

  20. Posted September 10, 2013 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    This is interesting for me to use in my class room. Look at my week space at https://rhodakarimi.wikispaces.com/, how do you create privacy in the groups such that members of one group will only edit their work and not any other groups work?

  21. hillary
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    i wanted to access rhodakarimi.wikispaces.com.for the last two days it is a problem.make it more user friendly

  22. Posted November 1, 2013 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    I am teaching 5 classes in Grade 7 the same subject. As the content is the same for the 5 classes I want to use 3 wiki and have 5 classes with their own members. How can I do this?
    regards
    lisa

  23. wendy
    Posted December 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lisa! We’d love to help– can you email us at help@wikispaces.com? Thanks!

  24. wendy
    Posted December 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Please email us at help@wikispaces.com for more information, thanks!

  25. wendy
    Posted December 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    You should see it now Sarah, thanks!

  26. Erin McAulay
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Any news on fixing the comment section. I use the projects for student blogs and it is really difficult now that the discussions do not show up on the page they were meant too. If you are the editor of the page it works but I cannot let other students comment on the correct pages. It is getting very confusing trying to manage all the discussion when I have 3-4 classes all blogging at the same time.

  27. wendy
    Posted March 7, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Hey Erin! Can you email this issue to help@wikispaces.com and we can look into straight away? And we’d love to hear more about how your kids are blogging!

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