Teachers – Help TES understand your ed-tech experience, and enter to win an iPad

 

 

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How do you use technology in your classroom?

We are always interested in learning about how teachers work with education technology, and ed-tech companies. It’s key to being a good ed-tech provider and is always a great reality check.

If you’d like to help, please fill out our latest survey. Your responses will be treated as confidential unless you choose to provide your name and would like us to quote you. It should take no more than 10 minutes, and if you want to provide your contact details, you’ll have a chance to win one of three iPads.

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As always, thank you for your support!

 

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Feature Highlight: Page Favorites

Not every user will use your wiki the same way. A page may be useful to one user, but not to another. Our Favorite Pages feature will allow every user to show just those pages they care about in the navigation area.

The navigation area of your wiki will contain the navigation widget by default. It lists all of the pages on your wiki or those associated with a specified tag. You may have also noticed the “Favorites” heading at the top. If you have not discovered it before, this is a really handy feature to make your most used pages easier to reach!

Favorite_Nav_Area

Unlike the rest of the navigation area, the Favorites page list is unique for every user. Each user can determine what their favorite pages are, creating a personal list of their most visited pages.

To add a page to your favorites, click the star just to the left of the page title. The page will now appear in the navigation area under the favorites page.

Glossary_Favorites

To remove a page from your Favorites, simply click the star again.

Remove_from_favorites

Need to contact us? You are always welcome to send your questions to help@wikispaces.com.

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Featured Wiki: Collaborative Research @ University College Dublin

This is a guest post written by Niall Watts of the University College Dublin. Niall describes a great use of Wikispaces by Dr. Niamh Flanagan of the UCD School of Applied Social Science. He describes how Wikispaces was flexible enough to provide students a simple structure to organize their research, share and analyze surveys, and then present their findings.


Dr. Niamh Flanagan of the UCD School of Applied Social Science wanted students in the first and second years of their Masters in Social Science (Social Work) to work together on the Student-2-Student Dialogue Project. The aim of this project was to investigate learning opportunities while on fieldwork placement. The first year students designed a survey for the second year students to complete on their experiences of field work. The first year students were divided into 10 research teams of about 5 members to analyze and discuss the survey findings. Each team was responsible for researching one topic. Topics included guidance and learning on placement, student preparedness for field work placements and practice supervision while on placement among others. The second year students were to comment on the findings of the first year students. It was hoped that the research would help to prepare the first year students for their own fieldwork placements.

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Blackboard could not be used for the project, as it involved students from two years who were not all registered in the same module. Media Services identified Wikispaces as a suitable platform for such a collaborative project. Wikispaces allows a lecturer to organize students into project teams where they can collaboratively write documents. Permissions can be set so that teams can read but not write on each other’s team pages and reviewers (in this case the second year students) can read and comment on all the team pages. Wikispaces has a simple editor which allows the addition of pictures, tables, links and other media elements. It is free for use in education.

Niamh Flanagan considers the project to be a success and would repeat it. All the first year teams created a team page or pages with a detailed analysis of their findings. Most were illustrated with graphics and tables. The only downside was the small number of comments by second year students perhaps due to other study commitments. Niamh Flanagan spent no more than a day or two familiarizing herself with Wikispaces. Niall Watts from Media Services, UCD IT Services, supported the project, including a brief demonstration of Wikispaces to the students which helped them to get started. No major technical hitches were encountered during the project.

For further information on this project, please contact Niamh Flanagan or Niall Watts.

Original link: http://www.ucdblogs.org/ucdblogs/collaborative-online-project-years/

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We’ve Made Adding Members Easy

Adding Members to Your Wiki
Wikispaces offers easy ways to add new Members to your Classroom wikis.

First, let’s start with a quick refresher on some terminology.
A User is defined as anyone with a username and password for wikispaces.com. When you go to wikispaces.com and log in, you are signing into your User account. Anyone can create a User account for free.
When a User joins a wiki using one of the methods below, they become a Member of that wiki.
A single User can be a Member of any number of wikis on wikispaces.com.

Membership for your wiki can mean different things. If your wiki is Protected, all Users can view its content, but only Members will be able to edit. If your wiki is Private, only Members will be able to view and edit content. More information about permission settings can be found here.

Now let’s have a look at how to add new Members.

The Invitation Tool
A Wikispaces classic. Just use the + button next to the Members link and paste in the username or email address of the Users you would like to make Members of this wiki. It’s the perfect way to announce to a specific audience that your new wiki is up and running.

Invitation_screenshot

The Invite Code

A new tool for Organizers to add a group of new Members into their wiki in one swoop. Organizers can activate a temporary join code from their wiki’s settings area, pass out the code during their class or meeting so Users can navigate to the wiki and enter this code to become a Member of the wiki. More info can be found here.

Join_Code_Screenshot

The User Creator
If your students do not have Wikispaces User accounts, this tool will allow you to create them in bulk. The new accounts will already have a membership to your wiki when they sign in!

First, create a spreadsheet or list of the unique usernames, passwords and email addresses (the latter is optional) that you would like to use for your student roster and then:

Go to your wiki and click the Settings link.
Click the User Creator link
Select the appropriate wiki from the Which wikis do you want to add users to? drop down menu and click the +Add Another Wiki button for updating members on multiple spaces.

User_Creator_screenshot_1

Paste in the usernames or upload the spreadsheet containing these usernames and click Continue.
Select the column containing users names. Do not worry about email addresses or passwords – there will be no changes made to existing accounts.
Click Continue
You will be notified about any errors (existing usernames, unaccepted characters, etc.). Make any appropriate changes, if needed.
Click Create Users


And for our Private Label and Campus users, you can automatically add memberships to existing Users from the Site Administration area and bypass the invitation process entirely.

The Wiki Details page
Go to Site Administration.
Click the Search link under the Wikis heading.
Search for the wiki you would like to add this user to.
Hover your mouse over the wiki name and click the Details link that appears.
Scroll down to Add a New Member. Type or paste in the username and click Add.

Wiki_Details_screenshot_1

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Introducing TES Labs!

TES Labs is a new platform that engages the most important people in education – teachers – to share their ideas and expertise with entrepreneurs. The result will be better products and services for the classroom. On the site, start-ups ask teachers from all over the world for feedback on their products, which are automatically matched up to registered teachers based on their profiles, through short weekly surveys. The start-ups will then be able to act on the advice they are given, while teachers will be entered into regular prize draws.

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TES Labs Example: Propagate (www.mypropagate.com)

TES Labs is hosting Propagate, (www.mypropagate.com) a startup keen to hear from teachers about how it can better hone its products to suit their needs. The technology Propagate has developed allows teachers to set up word lists for pupils to memorize that are designed to be more intuitive than flash cards or normal workbooks. The system highlights specific words that a teacher wants students to learn as they read a piece of text online.

It can provide real-time explanations of what words mean, and sets quizzes to strengthen students’ understanding by placing words in context. Emily Schu, co-founder of Propagate, said the digital tool was currently at beta-testing stage, and she hoped that input from teachers on TES Labs would allow her team to better tailor the concept.

“Getting ongoing feedback from teachers will allow us to develop our product and tweak certain functionality,” Ms Schu said. “We can launch it, but then iterate it and customize it to help teachers get the most out of our product.”

Teachers, Please Try It Out!

Please visit www.tes.co.uk/labs and sign up, then give us feedback on this new platform! Tell us what you think about the site and the questionnaires in the comments section below!

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