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Introduction


WiZiQ is an online teaching and learning platform, which provides a free virtual classroom environment for teachers to interact online and teach students in real time. Teachers can also build a profile, keep an availability schedule, create interactive questions and tests, interact in communities, and maintain a content library, which is associated with their profiles, by uploading PowerPoint presentations, Word, Excel, PDF and other file formats.

Importance in Education


Education like any other field, is evolving and e-learning is fast gaining significance in this domain. Web 2.0 has catalyzed this more and with a host of new tools, which can be deployed in teaching and learning, education will never be the same. WiZiQ has been a pioneer in this space with the free virtual classroom among other useful Web 2.0 features for educators and students like profiles, networking, content library, tests etc. As an online education platform, WiZiQ is focused towards education by actively participating in education technology networks, getting feedback from teachers and students about usability and using all this information to evolve further.


Free Online Virtual Classroom


WiZiQ's free Virtual Classroom is an online internet mediated classroom where the teacher and the students are connected to share a common workspace. In this online session, they make use of audio-video conferencing, text chat, whiteboard, and content sharing capabilities. There are no costs for using the virtual classroom. The sessions are recorded and are available online on WiZiQ, which can be accessed for later review or reference.

Attendees can join a session with privileges to converse verbally with others; draw and write on whiteboard; and share Presentations, PDFs, Flash and Images. The teacher may withdraw or re-assign these privileges to the attendees. A Teacher can withdraw privileges from the attendee in terms that the attendee can not converse, or upload anything to share on whiteboard; in this case, the attendee is a spectator. An attendee can also request for rights, in which case, the teacher can click on the attendee’s name to transfer control.


Features for Teachers


  • Offers a complete online teaching management system to its registered teachers without installing any software.
  • Teachers get their own virtual classroom at no costs.
  • Provides the ability to schedule a session online through a calendar at teachers’ convenience.
  • Teachers can interact with students through an online whiteboard to share text or documents, and through a two-way audio and text chat.
  • Teachers can build their profile.
  • Provides the ability to conduct one-on-one or group sessions online.
  • Payments from learners can be accepted.
  • Teachers can maintain a learners’ corner.


Features for Students


  • Students can find teachers
  • Learn from home, live through the Internet through an easy-to-use and interactive browser based interface, without installing anything.
  • Access tutorials shared by subject matter experts


Teacher Profiles on WiZiQ


A teacher profile on WiZiQ shows teaching and training experience, education, subjects and levels of expertise, time zones and hours of availability, charges for teaching per hour, and teaching preferences. Teachers can also offer free trial sessions if they so desire.


Using WiZiQ with Moodle


The online virtual classroom on WiZiQ can be used for synchronous online sessions with Moodle; teachers can connect globally with students using this tool. To use this, Moodle users would have to go through the following steps:

  • Step 1. Sign up as a member on WiZiQ
  • Step 2. Sign up as a teacher (teachers can only do this if they are signed up as a member first; go to the home tab after step 1 and you will find an option to sign up as a teacher)
  • Step 3. Build teacher profile
  • Step 4. Go to the "Sessions" tab, and schedule a session by clicking on an available date in the calender; the following message is displayed , "Please find below the URL for your session. Copy this URL and email this URL to your contacts outside WiZiQ, or publish it in your blogs or websites to let your contacts know about this upcoming session."
  • Step 5. Use this URL in Moodle to inform your attendees.

More information on this is available here: Using WiZiQ's Virtual Classroom with Moodle

Sharing Tutorials on WiZiQ


WiZiQ enables users to upload and share tutorials or any content in PowerPoint and PDF formats and also provides the option to share content as "public" or "private".

Content sharing can be used by teachers and students for the following advantages:

  • Teachers and students can upload and share documents as "private" or "public" without sending e-mail attachments.
  • Educational organizations, including universities can share content in either the public or private domain. Coupled with the Virtual Classroom technology, WiZiQ provides a very accessible and multi-featured live meeting tool for users around the world.
  • Users can create a personal content library online for ready reference.
  • Teachers can use their own content for explaining concepts while teaching.
  • Students can use their teachers’ documents for reference.
  • Users can get unique code for every presentation in the document library to embed presentations on their own blogs or websites.

  • Teachers can strengthen their profile by uploading self-authored PowerPoint presentations.

Resources



--- JPannu JPannu Jan 2, 2008