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Tagged With: closed webtools

Wikispaces has closed. What are your alternatives?

Wikispaces, one of education’s standout collaborative websites, closed at the end of June 2018. Thousands of teachers have used the free Wikispaces platform to share materials with students and colleagues, to run online classrooms, or as the virtual arm of a blended course. Its robustness and versatility allowed teachers to engage in discussion boards, forums, share all sorts of media, and create a personalized environment that could be tweaked to adapt to individual needs.

Its end has left teachers scrambling for alternatives that accomplish the same goals within a tight education budget.

Let’s back up a moment: What is a wiki?

A wiki is a collaborative website that collects and organizes content created and revised by users. 

The most well-known example of a wiki is Wikipedia but others include Wikimedia Commons and WikiHow.

If you’re one of the over 10 million teachers and students forced to find an alternative to Wikispaces, start here:

Wikispaces Replacement 101

1. Build a wiki from scratch

If you want to simply recreate your current Wikispaces environment, here are two wiki platforms that will allow you to do that:

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Categories: Online education | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Today’s Meet is Closed. What are your Alternatives?

todays meet replacementsAs of June 16, 2018, Today’s Meet closed (read the full details here). That iconic backchannel chat platform for classroom teachers and learners, the one that for ten years was the first name thought of when discussing feedback and collaboration, one that quickly became a staple in classrooms and conferences. I went to my PLN for thoughts on what they’ll use in its stead. It turns out, there are good options, depending upon whether you primarily use Today’s Meet for:

  • backchannel and student response
  • polls, forms, or surveys
  • warm-up and exit tickets

Here are webtool replacements you can use for summer or fall classes:

Backchannel and Student Response

A backchannel is a way for students to chat about lesson material while it’s being taught. It occurs in realtime but is non-intrusive to classwork. The teacher can throw a question out to students and evaluate learning or needs based on answers. Or students can pose a question and get answers from classmates. Here are three options you will like:

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Categories: Reviews, Web Tools | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

How Great is MS Office Mix

office mixMS Office’s Office Mix has been retired. Sad…

I first met Office Mix a few years ago, before I had the required Office 2013 or higher. I loved the demo I watched, cried a bit that it wouldn’t work for me, and then forgot about it. Now that I’ve upgraded to Office 365, I’m eager to use all the features that got me so excited back then.

Before I get into those, let me back up for those who have never heard of Office Mix. It’s a free PowerPoint add-on that turns your existing PowerPoint program into a fully-featured lesson planner. Using the traditional slide decks you love, you can now collect all the resources required for a lesson plan into one place that students watch either as a slideshow or a video. It can include video, narration, audio, polls, screen captures, screencasts, photo albums, charts, tables, annotated notes, images, interactive quizzes, and more. Just like with PowerPoint, you start with either a blank slide or a professional-looking template. Once the slide deck is completed, you share it via link or embed it as a slideshow or video on any device.

Because Mix uses audio and video tools to communicate ideas, students are eager to view the resulting lessons, making it a perfect addition to a blended learning program.

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Categories: Classroom management, Lesson plans, Microsoft, Reviews | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

15 Good Replacements for ScreenChomp

whiteboardFor years, TechSmith’s ScreenChomp app has been my go-to resource for whiteboard drawings, screencasts, and for an uncluttered online art platform for students using iPads. ScreenChomp did a masterful job of making everything needed for each of these activities intuitive even for young users.   For older students, ScreenChomp made it easy to provide personalized feedback by writing or recording comments directly onto their digital work and then sharing it back to them.

There are more uses, but none of them matter right now because ScreenChomp has been retired. According to TechSmith, it no longer fits their larger business goals. I’m not here to judge those; what matters for teachers is that we must now fill the hole left by the loss of ScreenChomp. Like Kerpoof, thousands of educators are scrambling to replace a fundamental tool that was to be an integral part of their 2016-17 lesson plans.

Let me help you with that. Here are options for the most common four activities (art, picture annotation, screencast, and whiteboard) you probably used ScreenChomp for. Since it was an iPad app, I’ve limited the replacement options to that platform:

Art

DoodleBuddy

Create a drawing by fingerpainting, adding stamps, and inserting text. You can even connect with a friend to draw together over the Internet. Price: Free

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Categories: Classroom management, Web Tools | Tags: | 4 Comments

Do You Miss Kerpoof? Try These 31 Alternatives

writing--with KPKerpoof closed down April 15, 2014. A staple in thousands of classrooms across the country, it is sorely missed by not just students, but teachers who relied upon it to guide students through writing, spelling, and a mixture and text and pictures to communicate ideas.

It’s pretty much a given that no one site could replace all the experiences Kerpoof provided, educators can cobble together a collection to satisfy the hole left by Kerpoof’s demise. Here are some ideas:

Mix Art and Text

  1. KidPix (fee-based)
  2. Paint (available through Windows)
  3. Tuxpaint (free software download)

Drawing

  1. Draw.to
  2. Graffiti Creator
  3. Sketchpad
  4. SumoPaint
  5. Tessellate

Writing–Comics

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Categories: Art, Web Tools, Writing | Tags: | 15 Comments

How to Organize the First Grade Class

This is the second in a series on classroom management through wikis. Here are links for grades 1-5.

This one is Kindergarten:

[caption id="attachment_6290" align="aligncenter" width="614"]classroom management Click here to visit my first grade class wiki[/caption]

You can organize a classroom with blogs, internet start pages (click for more on internet start pages), wikis, even twitter (Click for more on twitter). Wikis are the most thorough. Take a look at my first grade class wiki . I have room for student and parent resources, homework, What we did Today (for absent students or parents), grade-level skills, favorite links. You can even add student pages, created by students. This is very popular in the older grades. When students are absent, I send them to this wiki to see what we did and what they need help with. When we’re getting ready to submit a project, they can check out the grading rubric here, be sure they have all required pieces. This is a great spot to include extensions for those precocious students who finish everything early. I’m going to add a ‘sponge’ page, for just that reason: a place students can go to try theme-oriented websites that can be completed in 5-10 minutes.

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Categories: 1st, Classroom management, Parents, Teacher resources, Web Tools | Tags: | Leave a comment

I Love my Kindergarten Class Wiki

This is the first in my series of classroom management via wikis, to get us-all ready for school. Here are links for grades 1-5 wiki pages:

This one is Kindergarten:

classroom wikis

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Categories: Classroom management, Kindergarten, Parents, Teacher resources, Web Tools | Tags: | Leave a comment

Weekend Website #18: Second Grade Class Wiki

Drop by every Friday to discover what wonderful website my classes and parents loved this week. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of yours as they are of mine.

 

class wiki

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Categories: 2nd, Classroom management, Reviews, Teacher resources, Web Tools, Websites | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Weekend Website #17: Third Grade Class Wiki

Drop by every Friday to discover what wonderful website my classes and parents loved this week. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of yours as they are of mine.

class wiki

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Categories: 3rd Grade, Classroom management, Reviews, Teacher resources, Web Tools, Websites | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Weekend Website #17: Third Grade Class Wiki

Drop by every Friday to discover what wonderful website my classes and parents loved this week. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of yours as they are of mine.

class wiki

(more…)

Categories: 3rd Grade, Classroom management, Teacher resources, Web Tools | Tags: | 4 Comments