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Lucy may have already posted about this, but just in case she hasn't...teachers can get a free upgrade to "PLUS" (which means advertisement-free) if they use the following link to create their wikispace:
http://www.wikispaces.com/t/x/teachers100K
They can also help you to create logins and passwords for a group without email accounts.

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I just added a badge from this ning in the Cities Around the World wiki and I noticed that the functionality for the embed tool has changed. There are all these cool options for using widgets! I also put Yack Packs Walkie Talkie widget on the home page of the wiki so that anyone visiting can chat back and forth with other visitors.
Hi Alecia,

Thanks so much for sharing this. The school I work with has really been struggling with this issue...and trying to figure out what tools we can use that leverage 2.0 skills but aren't dangerous to the students. Do you, or anyone else here, know of other sites and tools that offer similar work-arounds like this for educators? We've been struggling with finding a good blog tool as well for schools that is secure and ad-free.

Thanks!
Jen
David Warlick's blogmeister might fit that bill, Jen. Btw, I know we need to schedule time to chat one of these days. I haven't forgotten!
Hi lucy,

This tool looks good...can't wait to explore! Yes, we definitely need to chat. We are submitting a proposal to MacArthur for their Knowledge-Networking Award and I am hoping to get another couple of schools to work with us on the project...maybe your school would be interested!
Hi Jen. I recently learned of PBWiki and I was going to suggest Edublogs as a great, yet safe blogging site. Also, if you sign up your children for free Gaggle accounts, blogging within a closed community, or even within a closed class can then occur. That makes it ultrasafe. They have blogs, as well as discussion boards. We have only now begun tapping this tool in our community. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.
Jen-
Hope you've been well since NECC! If you haven't been back to check out TIGed in a while, you might see if it fits what you're looking for - the toolset gives teachers a choice of web 2.0 tools for students to use: blogs being one of them, as well as podcasts, image galleries, discussions, maps, among others. It's all advertising-free and flexible to be private or public, at the educators' discretion. At the same time, the class can draw in content from the rest of our network as well as scaffold students' participation in the broader TakingITGlobal community.
Hi there. I checked out the Taking IT Global community and it seems like it's for older children, like high school perhaps? A browsing of the blog posts shows some challening, worthwhile themes, like mindfulness and a podcast from the Dalai Lama. Are there any educators of younger children using this tool?
Hi Alecia-
Yes, our general community is made up of older youth; in fact, one of the reasons TIGed was created was out of the interest of teachers to have their younger students participate and learn from the older youth on TakingITGlobal, but do so in a more private/secure way, and with more guidance and moderation from teachers. There are classes as young as grade 2 using TIGed! Most of the younger classes use TIGed first to collaborate with one another, or just with another class, to publish their own content, and for teachers to use resources (such as featured themes or country pages) as part of an in-classroom activity.
Hi Emily! Yes, hope you have been well too. TIGed is one of the options we have been exploring...we were looking at individual sites on each tool as needed, but I think we're moving toward a "one-stop-shopping" solution. TIGed seems perfect!

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