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.
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
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
We’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!