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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Our Web 2.0 Wiki Centric Classroom



The curriculum director and I just completed a nomination of our technology program for the 2006 The Journal Innovators. It's a long shot, but since I had to create it anyway, I thought some of you might want a good synopsis of exactly what we're doing with wikis here at Westwood.

(This is a little less modest than I usually am, but it is nomination for an award.)

What is the Westwood Web 2.0 Wiki-Centric Classroom?

The award winning Westwood School Wiki is the core of Westwood Schools technology program. This wiki coordinates the blogs, podcasts, movies, and other online materials created by students and teacher Vicki Davis. Students post lesson summaries, explore new technologies like mashups and Web 2.0, invent, share, and inspire. This year, the computer science class is writing a wikibook to share with the Westwood community. Instead of banning technology in the classroom, this technology program uses cellphones to shoot video, ipods to download open source books from Librivox, and Google video to upload and share self-produced educational videos. “Engaging students with the technology they love,” has been the strategy of Mrs. Davis who has also worked to help her students with learning disabilities benefit from Internet-enabled differentiated learning. Her students use wikis to study for finals, prepare for major projects, end of semester assessments, and to prep for the SAT. The Westwood wiki was recently profiled in the Boston Globe, named a Wikispace of the Month, and written about in various news articles. Mrs. Davis openly shares her classroom best practices on her Cool Cat Teacher blog, through webcasts, and is contributing to several textbooks about Web 2.0 technologies.

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