Getting Started

external image teacher2.phpCreate a wiki account for education by clicking on the picture to the left. Wikispaces is giving away free "plus" upgrades which will eliminate advertising and allow you to make your page private.

If you are new to wikis, you might want to check out the teacher help page for answers to some commonly asked questions. If you want to get started, the video tutorial with one of the wikispace creators makes it extremely easy to do. More video resources can be found here. Topics covered include: Setting up a wiki account, uploading documents and embedding specific web 2.0 tools like glogster, animoto, wix and toon doo.

Editing Tools

Wikispaces' WYSIWYG editor is easy to use. Just click on the "Edit this Page" tab and start typing. Below is a list of the available tools on the text editor. (tech tip: this image, and the video tutorials were created using JING screencapture's free!)

Food for Thought

  • Setting Up Your Space--Think about what you want to do with the space when you set it up. Maybe you just want to start with a simple discussion prompt and use the discussion tab? Maybe just a basic class website with links to your different classes? Maybe you want to set up an individual page for each student in your class? Whatever you want to accomplish, knowing this ahead of time will help you to structure your page. Of course, with wikis you can start very basic and build it as your needs change! Browse the examples for some ideas. Best advice: Start simple and let your wiki grow as you find new ways to use it.

  • Protected vs. Private--Many teachers opt to make their spaces "protected" and not "private." Doing so allows non-members to view but not edit the pages. If you are including student names and work, it is good practice to keep your site "private" The wiki you are viewing now is Protected, for example. If it was Private, you would need a wiki account login and have to request membership to join. As the organizer of the site, I would then have to approve you. These settings can be changed under MANAGE WIKI--PERMISSIONS.

  • Student User Names--Your district policies may designate this, but I prefer having students sign up with a user name that clearly identifies them. This way, it is easy to identify who is posting edits and discussions for grading and "other" (hopefully unnecessary) purposes if inappropriate posts occur. Creating wiki accounts provides a good opportunity for you to discuss the concept of online responsibility and identity with your students. Personally, I set up all student accounts as lastnamefirstinitial-htsd. The final suffix is our school district initials. Using this eliminates too many problems with user names being already taken by wiki account holders.

  • Use the USER CREATOR tool to help you set up a class of wiki accounts (under Manage Wiki). This tool will allow you to set up bulk accounts and assign your own account names and passwords so students do not have to create an account on their own.

  • I Forgot My Password!--Most of us could be better managers of our user names and passwords. Make a record of student user names in case they forget. Encourage them to be wise in password design. Encourage them to write down their user names as well as a reminder for their password (but never the actual password).

  • No Email? No Problem!--For creating individual student accounts with no email, you can use your gmail account with a little trick: Suppose your gmail address is "" and you have a student named Joe Schmoe. Enter his email address as " Any email sent to that address will come into your gmail account. This can be a very handy workaround and is great for creating one or two accounts on the fly. For creating full class accounts, use the USER CREATOR tool.

  • Choosing a Group Leader or Organizer--If students are going to collaborate on a wiki, it is often helpful to assign the role of overall organizer to one student. It is also a good idea to meet with these organizers privately to talk about how to use their leadership position to keep things running smoothly and 'looking good'. During that meeting, it is important to brainstorm and suggest ways for the leader to seek input from the group members to avoid becoming a 'dictator' - one of the easiest ways, of course, being to use the 'Discussion' tab inherent in each wiki page, to discuss changes in format, additional content, etc.

  • Customizing Your Page--you can change the settings, permissions and the look of your space under MANAGE SPACE link in the upper left. If you want to customize your space even more, check out This will give you a few HTML codes to customize your wiki beyond the norm. For example: The frame background on this page was created with HTML from this page. You also might try using Glogster to customize your pages. Click here for an example of this.

Printable Documents

Feel free to modify these to fit your needs.

  • external image msword.png Web 2.0 for parents.doc Since some parents may be a bit leary of the Myspace/Facebook concept, this is a flyer I make available for them. It explains the concept of Web 2.0 and explains what a wiki is ane how it will be used in the classroom

  • external image vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document.png Copy of Wiki Etiquette.docx I make this document available to teachers to use to help explain expectations for students who use wikis.

  • external image vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document.png Creating Wiki Accounts for an Entire Class.docxIf you would like Wikispaces to set up accounts for your students and avoid having them join themselves, this is a great option. It is also the only way you can turn off the private messaging function of wikispaces.
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