Tuesday, January 17, 2006

NEW dgSURVEY: Online Education: What Can It Deliver?

Just got this in an email - interesting survey. It would be cool to have responses from the Caribbean.

Educational resources available via the Internet, from online course materials to virtual classroom videoconferencing, offer some of today?s most cutting-edge applications of cyberspace. However, e-learning has not always lived up to its promise for schools, faculty, and students in developing countries. A Development Gateway Special Report scheduled for March 2006 will examine the challenges and opportunities of online education in the developing world.

We would like to know what Development Gateway members think about online education in developing countries. Please take few moments to answer a short survey at (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=864101622251). Selected responses will appear in the 'From Our Members' section of the Special Report. Thanks for your help!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Wikis in Education - Westwood - a case study


Our Space: We began to use our wikispace as the companion to our Computer Science curriculum but are expanding it for use in Computer Fundamentals, Keyboarding, and Computer Graphic Design.

We started with one page (http://westwood.wikispaces.com/Web+2.0) where I posted words relating to Web 2.0. I divided the students into groups and had them collaboratively research their topic on the Internet, summarize their findings, and link to their sources. I have found that it is the perfect tool to help students summarize and synthesize information! Every student, regardless of ability level was able to contribute in a meaningful way!

We've expanded it considerably and now have links to our student wikispaces (http://westwood.wikispaces.com/Westwood+wikilinks+page). Of particular interest is the 10th grade "study hall" (http://studyhall.wikispaces.com) where the students have created a
listing of homework with links to the pages they have created to study for exams! They update this on their own! It has its own life!
I'm most excited that they have an electronic forum to exchange academic information from home! I like that I can monitor who has added material and can control who contributes to each space.

Our Community: The students and faculty of Westwood Schools.

Our Experience with Wikispaces: The first day, the students started getting excited. The second day, they were thrilled and engrossed in learning about our topic. For their quiz on creating wikipages I had them create their own space on the school topic of their choice. That
is when I found them squealing in the hall talking about their english wikispace or history wikispace. The other faculty, who are always cutting edge, began asking what this "wiki thing" was. Some of them have created their own pages and are creating projects next semester
to move from paper portfolios to wikispaces. I've been asked to do a teacher in service training on January 2nd to bring all middle school and high school teachers up to speed.

I have used countless technological tools -- but I have never found a tool so useful in the educational process. We use blogging, podcasting and all of the other features of Education 2.0. I believe, however, that wikispaces are the thing that will integrate all of these technologies into meaningful experiences.

Read more about about which features work well for us:


Read a full summary of our Wikispaces experience: