A San Francisco wiki services provider has just finished a multiyear project under which it gave teachers all over the world 100,000 free wikis, and now, it is getting set to give away another quarter million, CNET reports. The company, Wikispaces, decided in 2006 that it would make helping teachers use the collaborative software to further cooperation between students, both in their own schools and with schools in other cities and countries, a cornerstone of its business. But while Wikispaces hasn’t made any money directly from the project–and in fact has incurred significant costs from supporting teachers’ use of the wikis–co-founder Adam Frey said the company has found that the educators are just the kind of evangelists that can aid a start-up in building a business. "We just said that if you sign up for our paid service and you’re a teacher, we’ll waive the fee, and that message spread far and wide," Frey said. "People have been signing up for the last 18 months. … It showed us the power of doing something nice for people." Frey said that the company has given wikis to teachers all over the United States, in China, in Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, and in Africa.
For Vicki Davis, a teacher at the Westwood Schools in Camilla, Ga., the free wikis project has been a boon to developing her students’ sense of how to be a responsible online citizen, as well as for completing collaborative projects…
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