Wiggio lets users form online groups and provides the tools to create private listservs and web addresses; manage events with a shared calendar; send eMail, text, and voice messages; and manage files in a shared folder.
Sophia is a free social teaching and learning platform that offers academic content to anyone, free of charge. The website, which has been described as a mashup of Facebook, Wikipedia, and YouTube focused solely on education, also lets educators create a customized learning environment in a private or public setting.
They are some of the latest websites in what is a growing trend of free social networking sites that can help educators and students collaborate and share content. Another is Edmodo, which launched a few years ago and offers free classroom communication for teachers, students, and administrators on a secure social network.
“A teacher will make a Wiggio group as a way to share files, poll students, set up chat rooms for after-school help, and set up conferences for tutoring sessions,” said founder Dana Lampert. “The other [main usage] we see is peer-to-peer collaboration within project groups.”
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Lampert first started thinking about a site like Wiggio when he became overwhelmed from dealing with too many groups.
“I was in extracurricular groups, some intramural sports teams, and then a lot of my class projects had group work,” he said. “What I found was all of these groups were using different tools, so one would use one calendar, one would use one listserv, and one would use some kind of file-sharing program. All of these groups were all over the place, and I just said, wouldn’t it be nice if all these groups that I’m in could have one home and one place—and I can log in to that one site to deal with all of my groups in a very clean and simple way?”