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Here's a recent article I wrote for an educational trade publication:
E-Learning in a 2.0 Wiki World – Spotlighting Village Voyage City Wikis
Educators have relied upon on-line “E-Learning” for years, but now a new phenomenon is emerging, which some are calling “E-Learning 2.0”. E-Learning 2.0 relies upon a variety of increasingly popular web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, and other social mediums to provide both the educator and the student with an interactive learning experience.
The most popular of these tools is Wikipedia, yet a new project called Village Voyage is growing in popularity. Much like Wikipedia, Village Voyage is a free wiki, and anyone can contribute. However, Village Voyage is different from Wikipedia because it is designed to promote local community, commerce, tourism, and everyday life within the 22,000 towns it serves. Various city wikis can be located at http://www.villagevoyage.com/wiki/Category:Cities.
Because of this, local content that typically would not be allowed on Wikipedia is welcomed on Village Voyage. As such, many educators have found that the progression of this project fits well within an academic setting; albeit for the journalism student recapping Friday night’s game, or the history student chronicling the community’s historical relevance. In true wiki spirit, even the Village Voyage lesson plans take the shape of a wiki article, where a number of educators have collaborated to develop and expand the student Project Plan.
Regardless of the subject, instructors can closely monitor each student’s contributions, and all changes are tracked and time-stamped for added accountability. Best of all, the assignments themselves are never complete. Instead, they are inherited by the local community, thus allowing others to progress their quality, content, and accuracy.