Hello and welcome to the December 2005 Wikispaces update. This email is part of a series of occasional updates about what's new at Wikispaces and what our members and communities are up to. Here's what's in store this month: 1. Site News 2. Upgrade Notice 3. Space of the Month: Westwood 4. December Wikitips 5. Feedback Time If you would not like to receive future update emails, instructions are at the bottom of this message. 1. Site News We can sum up December at Wikispaces in exactly one word: "We've rolled out some really great improvements." Highlights are:
A brand new visual editor which loads quicker and works better. "It's sweet!" A brand new image handling system. It's now much easier to upload multiple images and to put them on your pages using the visual editor. Check it out by clicking the picture button in the editor bar. Support for any kind of file. Put Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, whatever you like in your Wikispaces. And the visual editor handles them nicely too. A brand new link handling system. The link dialog handles local and external links as well as anchors. It also let's you select the page you want to link to from a list. It's generally much friendlier. But wait, there's more:
We quietly launched Blogger and Typepad integration a little while ago. If you've got a blog, take a look: http://blog.wikispaces.com/2005/11/wikispaces-integration-with-blogger.html Translations! Some of our members have been translating our help pages into Spanish, Polish, and Italian. If you want to do a translation, let us know at [email protected] 2006 is going to be even more chock-full of Wikispaces goodness. We can't wait. Read on for more news and some hints on how to get the most out of Wikispaces.
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2. Upgrade Notice Our upgrade this month will result in some Wikispaces pages looking a little bit different. Specifically, we now handle blank lines correctly. Previously, if you had consecutive blank lines on a page they would display as just one blank line. Now, each blank line is shown properly. Therefore, some of your pages may now display extra blank lines. Also, lists that had blank lines between items will display differently. If you find any problems that you can't easily resolve, let us know at [email protected] and we'll be able to fix them for you. 3. Space of the Month: Westwood Westwood is the Wikispaces Space of the Month for December 2005. http://westwood.wikispaces.com/ Our Space: We began to use our wikispace as the companion to our Computer Science curriculum but are expanding it for use in Computer Fundamentals, Keyboarding, and Computer Graphic Design. We started with one page (http://westwood.wikispaces.com/Web+2.0) where I posted words relating to Web 2.0. I divided the students into groups and had them collaboratively research their topic on the Internet, summarize their findings, and link to their sources. I have found that it is the perfect tool to help students summarize and synthesize information! Every student, regardless of ability level was able to contribute in a meaningful way! We've expanded it considerably and now have links to our student wikispaces (http://westwood.wikispaces.com/Westwood+wikilinks+page). Of particular interest is the 10th grade "study hall" (http://studyhall.wikispaces.com) where the students have created a listing of homework with links to the pages they have created to study for exams! They update this on their own! It has its own life! I'm most excited that they have an electronic forum to exchange academic information from home! I like that I can monitor who has added material and can control who contributes to each space. Our Community: The students and faculty of Westwood Schools. Our Experience with Wikispaces: The first day, the students started getting excited. The second day, they were thrilled and engrossed in learning about our topic. For their quiz on creating wikipages I had them create their own space on the school topic of their choice. That is when I found them squealing in the hall talking about their english wikispace or history wikispace. The other faculty, who are always cutting edge, began asking what this "wiki thing" was. Some of them have created their own pages and are creating projects next semester to move from paper portfolios to wikispaces. I've been asked to do a teacher in service training on January 2nd to bring all middle school and high school teachers up to speed. I have used countless technological tools -- but I have never found a tool so useful in the educational process. We use blogging, podcasting and all of the other features of Education 2.0. I believe, however,
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that wikispaces are the thing that will integrate all of these technologies into meaningful experiences. Read more about about which features work well for us: http://www.wikispaces.com/Wikispaces+Update+December+2005+More+Westwood Read a full summary of our Wikispaces experience: http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2005/12/wiki-wiki-teaching-art-of-using-wiki.html Give us a shout about who should be the next space of the month: http://www.wikispaces.com/message/list/space+of+the+month 4. December Wikitips Upload Your Files to Wikispaces We now support uploading any type of file, not just images, to Wikispaces. Share any type of file with your group directly through Wikispaces. We virus scan every file to help keep everyone safe. Use the "Upload Files" link under "Manage Space" or use the new image and file handling feature described below. Image and File Handling You can now upload and insert images and files into your pages using a nifty visual interface. While editing any page in the visual editor, click the Add Image button in the toolbar. It looks like a little box with a tree in it and it's the third button from the right. This will bring up the Image and File section to the right of your editor. You can now see a thumbnail of each image in your space as well as all of the files you have uploaded. Double click any image or file to insert it into your page. You can also upload images and files from here and insert external image links. And once you've played with it, let us know what you think at [email protected] . (tips archived at http://www.wikispaces.com/wikitips) 5. Feedback. Talk to me, Goose. The better we understand you, the better we can make Wikispaces. So talk to us. Tell us what works well and what doesn't. Also, if you have an idea for how we can spread Wikispaces to your friends and colleagues, let us know.
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Your ideas and feedback are what keep us going. Drop us an email at [email protected] or leave a note on the front page discussion area if there's anything we can do to make Wikispaces work better for you. Thanks, Adam, Dom, and James ----To stop receiving site update emails, please visit http://www.wikispaces.com/user/edit and set "Email Site News" to "No". -----