Wednesday, April 05, 2006

33 Wikis: #13 -- The Westwood Wiki -- Wikis in the Schools

This is the thirteenth installment in "33 Wikis," a close look at best practices in wiki-based collaboration. Each day -- for 33 days -- we look at one wiki and briefly describe what the wiki is for, why we like it, and what we all can learn from it. If you want to nominate a wiki, please let us know. On day 34 we will post a public wiki featuring info on all nominees.

What this wiki is for: The Westwood Wiki is a collaborative workspace for the Westwood Schools (K-12) in Camilla, Georgia. The gardener and evangelist is computer science teacher Vicki A. Davis, AKA "Cool Cat Teacher." Davis and her students have created an highly interactive, vibrant workspace that supplement several parts of the Westwood curricula.

Why we like it: Wikis are getting lots of interest in the schools because the benefits of peer production and participation are becoming better known. But to really get a wiki going like Westwood has, you need an evangelist with Davis' stamina and character. She's encouraged her students to not only use the wiki, but to immerse themselves in all things Web 2.0. As a result, this is a pretty sophisticated site, with a few unexpected treats (check out the 4th grade podcast -- a big cute yes, but still impressive). We also like that Davis has shared so much about her experience. Her notes on the wiki and in her blog will help other teachers navigate their own entry into the world of tech-supported education.

What we all can learn from it: Like all the wikis in this series, the Westwood Wiki has lessons for people in markets outside its own. The way wikis encourage and reward collaboration and production should be of interest to any organization that has the mandate of developing its constituents, especially organizations -- commercial and public -- that have been forced to do more with less.


Blogger Vicki A. Davis said...

Thank you for your commendation! I have really been enjoying the 33 wikis! I'm asking my students to post next week! Many thanks!

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