Wikispaces Extends Free Education Wikis to Higher-Ed

Wikispaces who has always been a great supporter of wikis in K-12 Education giving away some 980,000 free ad-free wikis for classroom use over the years will announce next week that not only will it continue to support K-12 Education, but will also be opening up it’s free service to higher education as well. The features in these free educational wikis normally cost $50 per year, but are completely free for educational use. The announcemnent will be made on the wikispace blog next week.  Last year at ISTE 2010 I led a discussion at EdubloggerCon titled “Are Wikis Dying” it was a great conversation and the comments on the blog post added some value as well. Adam, and the team from wikispaces, was there as we discussed the future of wikis in a Google Docs, sycrounous editing world. Wikispaces continues to add functionality and I do think there is still a place for wikis…..just not sure where. Personally I haven’t started a wiki or been involved in a wiki project for over a year. The wiki projects that I’ve worked on with kids have been about adding value to wikis and to the greater good. But then again my school has adopted Google Apps for Education and I think Google Docs and Google Sites has replaced much of the funtionality that my school use to use wikis for. This might not be true of all schools and there are still cases in which I think a wiki is the best tool for the task…..we just have more tools. I think that wikis are getting back to what their orignial purpose was…to create collabertive content. There was a time when we used wikis for anything and everything because they were easy to create and edit. Teachers used them as webpages for classrooms (and still do). We used them to plan sessions or take notes (and still do). But as the Web 2.0 world continued to develop other tools made for those specific purposes have filled those niches and we’re seeing wikis return to their orignial purpose…collabertive projects. So are wikis dying? No…their just returning to their orignial purpose which means we’re using them better and their purpose is becoming more clear…which in a connected world of infinite choice it’s good to see something become clearer. Thanks Wikispaces for your continued support of...

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Royalty Free Music and EmbedPlus

Two quick great websites I came across today that deserve more than a tweet.  Jewel Beat: Check it out…some great sounds, songs, and effects. All royalty free and all they ask is you link back to their website. Great resource for student videos, podcasts, and use in projects. EmbedPlus: Take YouTube videos to the next level. Just copy and paste the URL of any YouTube video and walk through the steps. You can set times in the video to skip to, you can slow the video down, and rewind. Some pretty cool extra features….and all for free. Check out the video below to see it in...

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FREE BOOK DOWNLOAD

The free download period has now ended. You can purchase a copy of the book by clicking on the link below. Thanks for your...

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A Rant: Podcasts, Education, Free Content

I spent a good hour last night before recording the SOS Podcast for the week surfing the iTunes Podcast area. If you are a teacher in ANY subject area and haven’t at least considered using podcasts to augment your curriculum and teaching then you’re missing a huge opportunity. The wealth of knowledge there is amazing. My best find of the night came from beatsuite.com. A podcast of Royalty Free Music in different genres. I’m always looking for intro or exit music. I want something catchy, something up beat, something that fits the podcast or recording or presentation. I can now listen through their podcasts. Pick the song I want and then head to the web site where I can. Did you know – Previews can be downloaded Free As a beatsuite.com member you can download the preview files for all Royalty Free Music tracks at the touch of a button. Whether you want to try it in your project, share it with a colleague or pitch it to a client. Download the preview before you purchase absolutely free. Now here is a web site that is understanding the market of the Internet. I was listening to a track today that caught my attention and it cost $60. But once I buy it I own it and the best part is I don’t have to buy it before I try it out in my project. What they understand is that if you want to rip them off you’ll do it anyway. It’s easy to record sound as it comes through your sound card. Kids at our school do it all the time. Quality isn’t great but hey, we’re use to DVDs where a person gets up and walks out of the theater in the middle of the show to refill their popcorn…what do you expect for $1 on a street corner.:) What we need to understand is that society is changing and their is money to be had in giving away information if you do it right. Look at Nine Inch Nails who’s record is still tops at Amazon.com (You do buy from Amazon.com…I mean if you buy at all, right? They offer DRM free downloads that can be played on ANY device!) and has made the artist over a million dollars…and they gave it away free to start with. Here’s what we need to understand. That our society today...

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