Education Bridges


Education Bridges is a new site designed to bring together educators and nonprofit, business and government leaders. It has a blog, podcasts, a wiki and plenty of discussion on interesting topics like "Adapt the technology, not the teaching."

They understand that with all the new tech available to educators, there is a real need to offer some "explaining, contextualizing, demystifying and understanding what they can do...and perhaps more importantly, what they will not do."

That's a good site mission.

Surfing through the site I immediately came across some good info on wikis - which are a lot harder to explain than blogs & podcasting. Here's a sample: Jude Higdon/USC on "The Pedagogies of Wikis."

Weaving a more tangled web


A trend that I have never been a fan of on the Internet - sites that allow you to bad mouth others.

Most higher ed faculty know that there are sites for students to "rate" their teachers - http://www.ratemyprofessors.com and http://www.pickaprof.com are two sites where anonymous posters can say nice things and make constructive comments to benefit fellow students - OR - more likely, trash and post useless gripes.

There's a tepid counter blog site at rateyourstudents.blogspot.com which I find even more annoying.

Now there is also DontDateHimGirl.com which lets women post info on men who have been caught cheating on their wives and girlfriends or just generally treated them badly. The premise is that, like a bad professor, you can check the site's search engine and find out what to expect.

Women can post a man's name, address, photograph, and other personal information without his "permission" AND they can remain anonymous.

Is this legal? Julie Hilden asks that in her online piece where she suggests that "it's the evil twin of another site, GreatBoyfriends.com, where a woman can recommend her ex to other women. I'm guessing that DontDateHimGirl gets more hits.

Even on college campuses (the target audience) their are those pro and con on the site.

I suppose that students have been complaining about teachers since schooling began. And the ex-boyfriend bashing has been active even longer. Still, this globally public display is disturbing.

Wikibooks, Wikiversity and Wikijunior


Wikibooks logo

Wikibooks is a collection of free textbooks, manuals, and other texts that are written collaboratively online. Since the is a wiki, anyone can edit book modules without their contributions being subject to review before modifications are accepted. The project was opened in response to a request by Wikipedia's Karl Wick for a place to start building open-content textbooks. It was suggested that initial efforts might be directed towards titles such as organic chemistry and physics in order to reduce the costs and other limitations on learning materials.

Some books are original, others began as text copied over from other free-content textbooks found on the Internet. All of the site's content is covered by the GNU Free Documentation License. Like Wikipedia, contributions remain the property of their creators, while the copyleft licensing ensures that the content will always remain freely distributable and reproducible.

Wikijunior is the working title for a set of books targeted to children aged 8–11. This subproject of Wikibooks will be both a website and magazine. The website is currently in development in English, Japanese and Danish, but expected to be in at least a dozen languages.

Wikiversity is another offshoot of Wikibooks, though it ultimately may be to large to be considered a "subproject" of Wikibooks. It's an attempt to build a free, open learning environment and research community. People are building online courses as a form of co-operative and interactive exchange of knowledge. Wikiversity currently has portals in 17 different languages.