Wiggio, a start-up turned Desire2Learn component, has tremendous possibility as a learning tool. These features and ease of use made it an easy choice for the college market wishing to expanding its digital learning presence, and for clubs, programs and professional development groups wishing to collaborate.
However, as a person working in an institution including primary, middle and secondary grade students. I have some concerns about using it in the K-12 Marketplace.
In an age where we need to be teaching our students prudence in friending, Wiggio appears to have no controls which can be administered over permissions. This includes the permission to add other people who are not known to the educator, school or community.
Because of the BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) philosophy, I have been diligently searching for a product which would host web meetings which supports a variety of computing and tablet OS systems and is kid friendly. Specifically a jnlp free environment. I was hopeful that Wiggio was that product. However, my testing has had intermittently successful at best. And worse, when I went to try to troubleshoot there was no documentation that I good find telling me what I need to have system-wise. Two glaring issues for my application – in Chrome browser we can’t seem to make the microphone work, and screen-sharing requires either jnlp or windows compatibility.
Additionally, there do not seem to be behind the scenes controls for default permission levels. So every student attending must be manually given permission to do anything. This isn’t very easy to manage as an instructor who does NOT webinar. I want my students to interact freely in the environment, not have to wait for me to say “now you may speak.” The in class controls are slow to react and cannot be enabled except by the meeting leader to manually add them user by individual user.
Wiggio is a great idea with tons of possibility, but in needs to consider the needs of the K-12 community, and go a bit further to meet the needs of younger students and their educators.