Creating projects from PDFs and much more

Posted by David Wagner on Aug 31, 2020 9:07:22 AM

This weekend's Wixie update has even more features to get students up and running at the beginning of the school year as well as huge improvements in accessibility.

Create a Wixie project from a PDF

Stories from users often provide the best inspiration for new features. This past spring we received this note from a teacher using Wixie during quarantine:

"My parents were struggling to figure out how to print and submit all of the assignments in the printed resources the school district provided. So, I used the snipping tool and added all of the assessment pages and practice pages to individual Wixie assignments. I went from maybe 20% of the children submitting work to 95% as soon as I did. The best thing was I could see and comment on what they did and parents had to submit nothing. I marked assignments as complete and have a great body of evidence for every child but one."

Since so many classroom assignments start in PDF form, we thought, “We can make this process faster."

In this latest release, you can now select the New button and choose Upload to upload a PDF file and Wixie will convert it to a Wixie project with each page in the PDF becoming the background for a page in the Wixie project.

You can even upload them in bulk by selecting multiple files in the file chooser dialog.

New notifications for students

Bright icons now let students know when they have a new team project to work on or new feedback on a project they have already started.

When students log in to their account, their Team Projects folder will now indicate if they have been added to a new team project. When they open the folder, the project is also labeled to make it easy to find and start.

If a teacher has added feedback to a project since a student has last logged in, the feedback icon will now change color to indicate new comments.

Pause and restart video recordings

Teachers and students voiced so much appreciation for the ability to pause while voice recording, we added this features for video recording as well. You can now start a video, pause the recording to catch your breath or complete a quick costume change, and resume recording to make just one video.

Print log in instructions for student QR codes

Many teachers drop User Cards into student bags for the beginning of the year and we wanted to make sure teachers had this option for Wixie as well. Teachers can still print small log in cards for an entire class and then cut them out to share, and now they can also print a full sheet of paper for each student with the student log in code and instructions, making it easy to send home to parents.

To select either option option, open the Print User Cards dialog on the Students page of your Wixie teacher account. Then select “With Instructions” from the pull-down menu in the lower left corner of the dialog.

Improved accessibility

This summer, we focused on making Wixie accessible to more and more learners and each of the past summer updates have included changes in this direction. After hundreds of small changes, this latest update means Wixie conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Level AA standards.

Wixie has easy to use tools, with multiple ways to share work, and the flexibility to modify and differentiate for a variety of learning needs. Wixie gives teachers a powerful tool for a universal design for learning.

Wixie has improved support for screen readers and has been tested with ChromeVox on Chromebooks, NVDA on Windows, and VoiceOver on Macintosh.

We have also greatly improved navigating the product using the keyboard. Students and teachers can now use the Tab key to navigate through the application and use Enter/Return to select the item.

There are many other keyboard shortcuts that make it easy to move around to the different areas of the program.

wixie-application-keyboard-shortcuts-partial list

View all Wixie keyboard commands.

Explore more on our accessibility pages.

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