Archive for February, 2011

Wikispaces Offering Free Wikis for Higher Ed

Friday, February 25th, 2011

It looks like Steve, Alan, and Others beat me to this news already, but… starting this month, Wikispaces is offering free, ad-free, fully featured wikis to higher education, as well as extending their free wiki program for K-12.

Their wikis for education have no advertising on them, are fully featured, and never expire. (They also include the option to be completely private if desired, though I personally think that detracts from many of the benefits of a wiki.) The features included in the education wikis usually cost $50 per year — but are completely free when used for K-12 or higher education. And teachers are welcome to sign up for as many of them as they like. They’ve given away over 980,000 free wikis for education so far, and are committed to giving away at least 2,000,000 in total. (This is an awesome new goal as they approach their original goal of 1 million free wikis for education!)

This announcement will be posted next week on the wikispaces blog, but I’ve included it as a PDF so you can get a sneak peak. ;)

If you have any questions or comments feel free to let me know in the comments below… or just contact the always responsive team over at wikispaces. :)

You can now get free higher education wikis here:
https://www.wikispaces.com/content/for/highered

You can still get free K-12 education wikis here:
http://www.wikispaces.com/content/for/teachers

Advice for Aspiring Ed Tech Doctoral Students

Monday, February 21st, 2011

From time to time I get email from people considering a doctoral degree in Educational Technology. Tonight I think I wrote a fairly good (and brief) response, so I thought I’d share an excerpt from it here (the sender had asked for advice on what to research and who to research with, and this was the bulk of my response):

I’d suggest the following…

Research something you are passionate about. As you begin that process you’ll discover the current researchers and practitioners in the field… connect with them. Don’t be a passive consumer of research – whatever program you choose, make sure you take charge of connecting yourself with the community doing the important work in the field you’re passionate about. Also, go into it knowing that this process will change what you’re interested in researching. At the start this is good, because you don’t know what you don’t know, but eventually you’ll need to commit and make your own contribution by completing your own study.

That being said, I can also recommend Walden University’s Educational Technology program (with the caveat that any program is only as good as you make it – and only as good as the people you connect with… be sure to connect with the faculty early and often to discover who you want to work with – and who you want to ignore or stay away from). I found Walden’s program very flexible (in terms of letting me determine the direction of my own research), very resource rich (with faculty and students from around the globe), very inspiring (with a focus on positive social change), and, of course, rigorous and challenging. I also appreciated their hybrid model, with coursework online (which is as it should be for an educational technology degree), face-to-face residencies (which are key for connecting with faculty), and (of course) independent research – just as you’d do anywhere. Here’s a link to the program description: https://www.waldenu.edu/Degree-Programs/Doctorate/18220.htm

I hope this helps.

And I hope it might help some of you (or your colleagues) as well. Please comment if you have any feedback or any additional advice. :)