Win a $500 Apple gift card by taking our survey

We’re currently conducting a survey with preK-12 teachers in the US to get a better understanding of their experiences with professional development, especially for re-licensing and salary advancement. We’d be grateful if you could take no more than 10-15 minutes to fill out our survey by Friday November 13, 2015. As a token of our appreciation, we’re giving away five $500 Apple store gift cards.

We’ll use the information in an aggregated, anonymous format for internal purposes only. At the end of the survey, provide your email address to be entered in a random drawing to receive one of five $500 Apple gift cards. Only respondents who work in US preK-12 education and have completed the survey in full by November 13, 2015 will be entered.

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Explore our classroom management wikis and resources

Check out our classroom management wikis and resources

Have a student who’s often distracted, or worse yet, several who are always acting up? Build positive learning communities and address misbehavior with our collection of classroom management resources featuring wikis, behavior T-charts, choice boards, and more. We have a special bundle of resources tailored for elementary school educators.

Do you have classroom management resources that worked particularly well with your students? Share them on in the comments section of this post, and we’ll feature them in social media. You all submitted awesome anti-bullying resources last month!

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Featured Wikispaces Organizer: Clemencia Acevedo

Wikispaces user Clemencia Acevedo

We recently caught up with Clemencia Acevedo, who is a teacher at MS325 Urban Science Academy, Bronx, NY. She presented at Fordham Graduate School of Education’s Digital Literacies Conference about using wikis to help students write informational essays (her presentation slides). Check out our Q&A with her below.

1. Briefly describe your wiki, and what you use it for:
I created a wiki for my science 7th grade students for the school year 2014-2015, as well as one for English Language Learners (ELLs). My goal was to provide a platform for my students to easily access engaging, difficult and grade level readings and scaffold them with additional visuals, images and videos. I also wanted to give my students an online space to answer questions based on readings done in class and at home. This served as additional scaffolding since students viewed each other’s responses. Students also referred to wikis for major assignment directions in case they lost the printed handouts.

However, I realized over the school year that wikis were a great platform for students to post their finished products, such as PowerPoint Presentations, digital posters and essays. In the spring, my students used Wikispaces to share their essays and digital posters on body systems. At the end of our journey, they were able to review and admire each other’s work.

2. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why I use wikis!”
When I first started teaching, I was concerned that many of our middle school students didn’t organize their reading and task handouts, often misplacing or losing them altogether. After I started posting readings and assignments on wikis, these students began to review the wikis in order to understand the assignments. This saved me time and energy from re-explaining. Those were the moments when I said, “Aha, this is why I use wikis.”

3. Besides the Edit button, which wiki feature is your favorite?
I love the homepage discussion feature because it allows me to write brief messages about homework with links, reminders and clarification about a task or assignment. This feature offers the option to send messages to student’s emails. Some parents are members of my wikis and receive messages. This gives them the opportunity to interact with their children through homework and projects at home.

4. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you?
It would say that I’m trying to ensure that each student receives an education no matter the obstacles they face in and outside the classroom. It would also say that I teach 21st century skills students can use later in their careers as jobs increasingly require computer skills.

 

 

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Explore anti-bullying resources in our new Pinterest board!

AntiBully Pinterest Board

Thanks to everyone who responded to our previous post for anti-bullying resources in support of National Bullying Prevention Month! We’ve assembled what you submitted and other useful content in our new anti-bullying Pinterest board. There are over 40 resources from videos, crafts to games and more that educators and students can use to promote safe and socially thriving communities. Feel free to share the board with others and pin away!

We also received personal accounts about being bullied and appreciate your willingness to share your story. This only underscores the necessity of bullying prevention. Thank you for joining us in supporting such an important cause!

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Wiki tips and tricks: creating a table of contents

When a lot of editors contribute to a wiki, wonderful things can happen: knowledge can be built upon; resources and learning materials can be shared; information can be passed along. At the same time, adding lots of content can have a less-than-wonderful side effect: the wiki page can become lengthy and cumbersome.

When you search for specific content, you may end up scrolling through pages of irrelevant information. You can always use the search tool, but the best option is to add a table of contents (TOC) widget to your page. A TOC will provide a succinct overview of all the topics on your page.

Table of Contents 1

A TOC widget uses heading formats to display a tidy summary of your page content conveniently placed in the top right corner of a page. The formatting presets (Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.) can be found on the editor (while editing a page), in the drop down menu:

Table of Contents 2

To embed the TOC widget:

  1. Click the Edit button and place your cursor at the top of any page.
  2. Click the Widget button.
  3. Select Table of Contents —  we love this widget so much, we put it at the top of our widgets list!

Table of Contents 3

Notice that this widget will always appear in the upper-right corner of the page. It will look like a grey block while in edit mode (like all widgets do). TOC can’t be moved to another area of the page because the top right corner is the perfect spot for maximum visibility (trust us).

You can select portions of text and use the Heading 1, Heading 2 formats. Save the page and voilà! Those Headings now appear in the TOC menu.

Table of Contents 4

As an added bonus, when your users click one of these links in the TOC area, they’ll jump directly down to that portion of the page. This jump is called an “anchor link,” and if you’d like to learn more about creating anchor links, have a look at our blog here.

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