Wikispaces, a part of TES, announced last week that the site will close starting 31 July 2018.
Why is Wikispaces closing? It costs too much: ‘Over the last twelve months we have been carrying out a complete technical review of the infrastructure and software we use to serve Wikispaces users. As part of the review, it has become apparent that the required investment to bring the infrastructure and code in line with modern standards is very substantial. We have explored all possible options for keeping Wikispaces running but have had to conclude that it is no longer viable to continue to run the service in the long term. So, it is with no small degree of nostalgia, that we will begin to close down later this year.’
If you have been a Wikispaces devotee, as I have, this is a terrible blow. For 12 years Wikispaces has provided a very useful, free to Education, web tool: essentially a data base, or a ‘collaborative content management system’, as Daniel Nations describes in this article on Lifewire. Scores of IB teachers have used Wikispaces over the years. The disappearance of this web tool that will leave a big hole in our online teaching and learning.
You can download your Wikispaces wiki in a handful of formats, for Windows and Mac; the process is explained on this Wikispaces Helpcenter page: Format choices are WikiText, DocuWiki, Kwiki, MediaWiki, MoinMoin, PhpWiki, TikiWiki, PDF.
Though alternative web sites are being suggested around the web, there is no site quite like Wikispaces for a free, web-hosted, collaborative database tool. Richard Byrnes, on Free Tech for Teachers, suggests Google Sites, Weebly for Education, and Edublogs. Wikispaces itself suggests Moodle, (see also Moodle Cloud) PBWorks TES Teach, and Referata. Alternatives To lists other wiki tools.
The Wikispaces Twitter page might be worth following as users post alternatives.