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Wiggio: Group Collaboration made easy


What it is: Yesterday as I was scanning through my Twitter stream when I came across this tweet from my friend @jasonshmidt123:  “Holy buckets of love, this is cool! RT @plugusin: Checking out Wiggio:  http://wiggio.com/ for collaborating.”  Now, any time buckets of love are involved I am intrigued- I had to check it out.  I must say, Wiggio is a way cool tool for collaboration.  Wiggio is a completely free online toolkit that makes it easy to work and coordinate with groups.  Wiggio is SO very simple to use and has a very straight forward interface that makes it easy for even those who are low-tech.  Wiggio lets you share and manage files, manage a group calendar, poll your group, post links, set up conference calls (including voice, webcam, shared whiteboard space, and screen sharing), chat online, send out mass text messages, and send voice or email messages to the entire group.  Wiggio has a lot of features that remind me of Google Groups but some additional features that truly make it a “holy buckets of love” experience.  Everything is in one place, handy and easy to use!

How to integrate Wiggio into your curriculum: I can see a lot of possibilities of Wiggio in the classroom.  Use it to create a class group with student families each year.  Keep families up to date with the latest happenings in your classroom, volunteer opportunities, and class projects that will need some parent support.  Share all important documents, videos, and resources that you use in your classroom for easy access from home.  (I can’t tell you how many, “I’ve lost the permission slip could you please send a new one?” I get in a year!).  Keep all those documents in your Wiggio group file and parents will never have to worry about lost paperwork again.  Live meeting opportunities mean that you can hold a virtual parent university where you catch parents up on the new math/reading/science/writing curriculum.  Teach your parents everything from reading strategies to use at home to working through math problems together.  Parents would love a little support in this area!  Offer virtual conference opportunities for parents who are unable to make it for a live conference due to long-term illness, job travel, or in multiple parent homes.

Use Wiggio to create student groups where you keep students up to date with classroom happenings and resources.  Offer your students a study hour where they can meet with you virtually for a little extra support or mentoring.  Remind your students of upcoming assignments by creating to-do’s.  Collect digital assignments using Wiggio files.

Students can create study groups of their own for collaborative projects.  As they work together they can meet virtually, share resources and links, and create a schedule to keep themselves on task.

Working with a class outside of your school?  Maybe in another state or country?  Wiggio is the perfect platform for connecting them, they can work together with shared space and chat live from your classroom.

Wiggio can be used with teaching staff to keep teaching teams organized and give them a place to share resources, ideas, and share a common calendar of events.

Have ambitious parents?  They can use Wiggio to collaborate and work with other parents for fundraiser events, coordinating volunteers, and special days.

I am currently using Vyew as my virtual classroom meeting space but Wiggio offers so much more functionality all in one place, I think for the next round of virtual class I will be making the switch!  To quote Jason again, “Holy buckets of love, this is cool!”

Tips: Wiggio has a demo area where you can play with all of the features yourself without registering or creating an account.  Note to all web 2.0 companies…this is a really nice feature, I wish you all would do it 🙂

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Wiggio in your classroom!

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23 Comments

  1. I LOVE Wiggio!! I have been using it since the start of the new year. I learned about it at The PETe & C conference last year. My parents love the constant contact, especially the text message feature. It is great to remind of tests and due dates for projects. I use it strictly as a parent/teacher tool to increase communication. On the high school level, parents sometimes feel that they are left out of the loop when it comes to their child’s class work. I had a student who failed Marking period 1. I convinced her mother to join the Wiggio. She now has a 70. I know that doesn’t seem like a huge improvement, but she came back from a score in the low 30s. I upload everyone of my hand outs and my notes in slideshare. This way too, parents can always have access to the tools their student needs. I also link to useful sites for research papers, games for review, and my wikis. Sometimes it is easier to have one location as a clearing house. I realized this would be the place after one student said, “Mrs. Palumbo, you have more web pages that you belong to than any person I know.” – yeah, I know…:)

  2. @Kerry- great idea to use it as a tool to keep parents informed. I am sure it makes their lives SO much easier. Thanks for sharing how you use Wiggio and how it has benefited your classroom!

  3. @Vivian- me too, that is a feature I forgot to mention… those invited to the group don’t even have to sign up to use it. Brilliant!

  4. I used Wiggio to share files and collaborate with my team at my previous school. I love the idea, but it moves soooooooo slowly. Things loaded slowly and erratically often. It was quite annoying.

  5. I am a high school Spanish teacher and I have been looking for a “one stop shop” to help manage my classes. This seems to have great features and seems really easy to use. I wonder if anyone out there has any feedback as to how students and parents have responded in using this as a classroom tool.

  6. I stumbled on to your blog as I was working on an assignment for my class in graduate school and found this gem. Since earlier this week I have been playing around with Wiggio and I found that it is a great tool to use in and out my classroom. I have already put plans in place for students and parents to be able to use it as a meeting place and as a place where I can leave assignments for them to pick up as well. Looking at the chat feature, how well do you think that will work with a large group of high school students that are considered to be “problem” kids? I was worried about chaos being created but would really like to use that feature.

  7. @Christopher I’m glad you stumbled onto my blog 🙂 Wiggio is a really amazing tool for collaboration in and out of the classroom.
    As far as using the chat feature, I say go for it! Before you do make sure that you come up with guidelines for how the chat will be used as a class. Be clear about what kind of behavior will be accepted. I have found when students know what is expected of them going in, they tend to follow the rules and guidelines put in place. Be sure that your students understand that using tools like Wiggio is a privilege and if that privilege is taken advantage of, they won’t be allowed to use web 2.0 tools any more. I always tell my students, “let’s show everyone how responsible you can be with these kind of resources so that when we ask for another resource (like YouTube) to be unblocked, we can point to our responsible behavior.”
    Good luck!

  8. @Bryan- I haven’t used the Wiggio platform for communication yet, but I have used similar tools like Vyew and Edu 2.0. The response from parents and students has been great. They appreciate being able to find everything in one easy place.

  9. @Excited Neuron- I wonder if it moved slow because of connection speed? I haven’t run into this problem (yet) and am hoping that it doesn’t become one! Thanks for the tip.

  10. I came upon this website as I was working on an assignment for a grad class. I was really intrigued by Wiggio and have already begun to use it in my classroom. The tools are great and really allow me to expand what I am doing in my classroom. I love the ability to work as a group. It gives a new dimension to group collaboration. It is also great as a mass communication tool. The ability to post voice messages, “post-it notes” messages, or send mass e-mails or texts is a real time saver. It takes a little bit to get everything set up and understand all the features. After that, however, it is a quick tool. And so far, the students have seemed interested and excited to use it.

  11. Thank you for the advice. I look forward to using this tool with my students. I understand what yoy mean about having students show that they can be responsible in order to be able to access more within the classroom. I am taking your advice and using your approach so that we can dive more into the use of technology.

  12. @Bryan- I am using Wiggio to collaborate with teachers around the world right now. I am amazed at how easy it is making collaboration! Good luck in your use with students!

  13. Wiggio just launched version 2.0, which makes it even easier to work together. User base has now grown to over 700,000 and an iPod app is in the works for within the month. Check it all out at http://www.wiggio.com

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